Wednesday 11 December 2019

Corbyn has 'proof' of Tories' plot to privatise the NHS

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: PA
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: PA

Kyle Maclellan

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has produced what he described as evidence that access to the NHS was being discussed in trade talks with the United States, handing reporters hundreds of pages of documents.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied the health service is on the table in talks, but Mr Corbyn said he had copies of leaked documents, called 'UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group full readout', suggesting otherwise.

The NHS has become a key battleground before the December 12 election.

Mr Corbyn said he had 451 pages of unredacted documents summarising UK-US talks and accused Mr Johnson of plotting to sell off the NHS if Brexit is finalised. All the documents are dated from before Mr Johnson took power in July.

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"So now we know, direct from the secret reports that they never wanted you to see - the US is demanding that our NHS is on the table in negotiations for a toxic deal, it's already been talked about in secret," Mr Corbyn said.

"That could lead to runaway privatisation of our health service. Mega corporations see Johnson's alliance with [US President Donald] Trump as a chance to make billions from the illness and sickness of people in this country.

"These uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson's denials in absolute tatters."

Mr Johnson said Labour's claims were a diversionary tactic.

"It's total nonsense," he replied.

"I can give you an absolute cast-iron guarantee that this is a complete diversion, that the NHS under no circumstances will be on the table for negotiation, for sale."

Irish Independent

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