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Brexit: Theresa May rebukes Boris Johnson over NHS cash plea

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Also reminds foreign secretary that cabinet discussions ‘should take place in private’

After chancellor Philip Hammond slapped down Boris Johnson for pitching for a £5bn cash injection for the NHS, Prime Minister Theresa May has also rebuked the foreign secretary saying it is too early for the government to redirect money currently paid into the EU budget.

Earlier today, allies of the foreign secretary had widely told media how he intended to use today’s Cabinet meeting to call for an extra £100m a week “Brexit dividend” for the NHS.

It is understood that Johnson wanted the health service budget boosted from March next year, when the UK formally leaves the EU. However, in today’s cabinet meeting, May has clarified that any ‘Brexit dividend’ for the NHS would not be allocated until next year.

A government spokesman told media: “The Prime Minister, and a large number of Cabinet ministers, made the point that Cabinet discussions should take place in private.”

He added that during the hour-long conversation about the NHS this morning, “no ministers discussed specific figures in relation to NHS spend”. While Johnson’s allies had been briefing that he would lead an ambush against the Prime Minister, it was May who introduced the topic and health secretary Jeremy Hunt who led the conversation, which was characterised as “constructive”.

 




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