Philip Hammond dismisses Boris Johnson's call for more NHS cash

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 23, 2018

May reminded Johnson that she deems the NHS a priority and is working with Chancellor Philip Hammond and Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ensure NHS investment, and that the budget spending was released "only a few weeks ago", The Guardian writes.

But at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the prime minister said any additional allocation of funds after Brexit would be discussed "at that time".

Ms May, the prime minister, also reminded her ministers that their discussions "should take place in private", an implicit reference to newspaper stories about Mr Johnson's intentions.

Earlier, Philip Hammond offered a dismissal of Mr Johnson's pending demand.

"Mr Johnson is the foreign secretary", Hammond told reporters in Brussels.

Downing Street said no ministers had suggested "any specific number" for extra health spending.

Working out at £100m a week, the cash injection would allow the Foreign Secretary to show he is acting on his European Union referendum claim that NHS spending could be raised once Britain leaves the EU.

Mr Johnson's £350 million claim has been dismissed by David Norgrove, chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, as an "egregious misuse of statistics".

The figure was challenged by critics who said it did not reflect Britain's rebate and payments made into Britain by the EU.

The foreign secretary repeated last week that the NHS should be "at the very top of the list" when the United Kingdom "takes back control" after Brexit.

"Breaching collective responsibility and leaking Cabinet discussions are bad enough but part of political life", he said.

Conservative MPs are becoming increasingly vocal about their frustration with Theresa May's government, with several senior backbenchers expressing their frustration at her lack of vision.

His comments follow those by former minister Nick Boles, who said there was a "timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May's Government which means it constantly disappoints".

"Where's the bold and courageous?" So far, it's dull, dull, dull.

Sir Nicholas Soames said the Conservatives" offer to voters was "dull, dull, dull', and asked the Prime Minister and her team: "Where's the bold and fearless?"

"They must have really sound reasons to vote Conservative".

Ed Vaizey, the former culture minister, called for "big, bold ideas", with Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health select committee, saying the Government "lacks ambition".

Mrs May's official responded to the criticism: 'If you look at action taken by the Government in recent months, you can see it is getting on with the job of building a stronger economy and a fairer society that works for everyone'.

He added: "Of course, we know there is more to do and the Prime Minister is committed to getting on and delivering".

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