Theresa May SLAPS DOWN Boris Johnson after igniting NHS funding row

Posted on Jan 24 2018 - 8:03pm by admin

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The row began when Mr Johnson let it be known his intent to raise the demand for extra NHS spending

At a heated meeting of her top team, the Prime Minister lectured the Foreign Secretary about the need to keep ministerial discussions private.

Her curt put-down pre-empted an attempt by Mr Johnson to demand an extra £5billion for the health service in the current parliamentary term during the weekly gathering.

Last night ministers were trading blows as the spat threatened to tear the Cabinet apart.

The extraordinary row erupted when the Foreign Secretary let it be known that he intended to raise the demand for extra NHS spending ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

I’m talking to you, Foreign Secretary!

Theresa May

Mr Johnson, who was a leading figure in the Leave campaign in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum, told allies of his desire to deliver the campaign promise of spending the cash saved from scrapping the UK’s annual budget contribution to Brussels on health care.

But before he had a chance to raise the issue at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister announced that decisions about the “Brexit dividend” will not be made until next year when the country leaves the bloc.

She also insisted the savings would go to several priority areas including education and housing as well as health.

In an hour-long discussion of the issue, several Cabinet ministers were understood to have admonished Mr Johnson for allowing his feelings on the issue to publicly reported.

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At a heated meeting, May lectured the Foreign Secretary about the need to keep discussions private

Home Secretary Amber Rudd – who clashed with Mr Johnson during the EU referendum campaign – told the meeting about the need for trust.

“I’m talking to you, Foreign Secretary!” she was reported to have said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and a large number of ministers made the point that Cabinet discussions should remain private.”

Brexit-backing ministers including Michael Gove and Chris Grayling were understood to have thrown their support behind Mr Johnson’s call.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also indicated his department would welcome extra cash.

He also broke cover later to repeat his call for extra NHS spending at a hearing of the Commons Health Committee.

“I don’t think any Health Secretary is ever going to not support potential extra resources for his or her department,” Mr Hunt said.

He added: “Let’s say that there’s a Brexit debate and there’s an NHS debate and just occasionally those two debates come together.”

An ally of the Foreign Secretary said: “Boris believes that if the Tories are going to beat Corbyn at the next election they must make the NHS a top priority and deliver new funding.”

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Ministers including Michael Gove and Chris Grayling were thought to have supported Mr Johnson

Earlier, Chancellor Philip Hammond took a swipe at the Foreign Secretary.

Speaking at an EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels, he suggested Mr Johnson should stick to his foreign affairs brief and not comment on other Government departments’ work.

“Mr Johnson is the Foreign Secretary,” the Chancellor told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

“I gave the Health Secretary an extra £6 billion at the recent Budget and we will look at departmental allocations again at the spending review when that takes place.”

Former Business minister Anna Soubry, a leading Remain campaigner in the run up to the referendum, called for Mr Johnson to be sacked for disloyalty.

“The Prime Minister should have sacked Boris Johnson for longstanding incompetence and disloyalty,” she said on Twitter.

“Unless Theresa May acts now Boris will bring her down.”

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