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Boris Johnson news: Labour vows no confidence vote in government as Downing Street says no way Brexit can be stopped

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Adam Forrest,Lizzy Buchan
Monday 05 August 2019 19:21 BST
Boris Johnson announces NHS funding boost in Lincolnshire

Boris Johnson has defended his NHS funding as “new money” on visit to Lincolnshire after health experts dismissed the £1.8bn cash injection as a “drop in the ocean”.

It comes as No 10 is reportedly preparing a “people versus politicians” general election campaign after pushing the UK out of the EU without a deal in the autumn.

Health minister Matt Hancock has claimed a no-deal Brexit cannot be stopped by MPs in parliament before 31 October, leading Jeremy Corbyn to state he would call for a no confidence motion in the government in the autumn.


Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage from Westminster and beyond. Boris Johnson will visit a hospital in Lincolnshire while his team prepares for a general election campaign, while Jeremy Corbyn is set to make a trip to the sire of the Whaley Bridge dam in Derbyshire.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 08:50
Adam Forrest5 August 2019 08:51

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has had more to say about the £1.8bn NHS funding pledge, claiming there is “scepticism” about whether the apparent cash boost is actually new money.

“What it is beginning to look like is that money hospitals were promised for cutting their costs and cutting back on their spending, they were promised extra money and then ministers came along and blocked them from spending this extra money,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“It now looks like all Boris Johnson has actually done is said they can spend that extra money after all. So there is huge scepticism about whether it is new money."

Asked whether the £1.8 billion boost is part of a bid to “sweeten up” the public in a run up to a possible general election, health secretary Matt Hancock said this is not the case.

Mr Hancock told Good Morning Britain: “I’m concentrating on delivering for the NHS. That isn't a discussion I've had with anybody other than the people who keep asking me about it in the media.

“This money is because the NHS is our number one domestic priority. People rely on it every day and we are absolutely determined to make sure the NHS is the best it possibly can be.”

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 08:54

Matt Hancock has also claimed a no-deal Brexit cannot be blocked by MPs in parliament before 31 October. He said he had changed his mind on the matter during the Tory leadership contest. “When facts change people can change their minds,” he said.

The cabinet minister said he has not spoken to Boris Johnson’s special adviser Dominic Cummings, or to the prime minister, or “anybody else” about calling a general election, and claimed the only people interested in it are journalists.

He added: “I don’t want one. I don’t think we need one.”

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 08:59

Here’s what rebel Tory MP Dominic Grieve had to say about the suggestion that it’s too late for MPs to stop a no-deal Brexit – an idea reportedly being pushed by Dominic Cummings.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 09:05

We may be in the midst of a summer recess, but Westminster is still buzzing with talk of a general election. Tory party chairman James Cleverly claimed over the weekend that the prime minister does not want to go to the polls this year, but No 10 is thought to be planning for one anyway. According to a report in the Financial Times, Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings is plotting a “people versus politicians” campaign. Cummings is said to be telling Tory MPs it’s too late to stop a no-deal Brexit, and he expects to fight an election soon after the UK crashes out the EU on 31 October.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 09:23

If you missed our interview with Jo Swinson on Sunday, the Lib Dem leader had some interesting things to say about possible defections from the Tory backbenches.

Swinson said she had been in discussions with people who “share our values” and hinted some defectors could be unveiled at her party’s conference in Bournemouth this September. “I’m hopeful to grow the parliamentary party further.”

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 09:39

Labour faces the prospect of its annual conference being overshadowed by another antisemitism row after Chris Williamson said he would be speaking at several events at the fringe of the party’s conference in Brighton.

Currently suspended by the party, the Derby North MP said his critics should “pipe down”.

Here’s Benjamin Kentish’s exclusive story.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 09:47

A new poll has found a majority of Scots are now in favour of independence. The Lord Ashcroft poll puts support for independence at 46 per cent and 43 per cent against.

When those who said they did not know how they would vote, or said they would not vote, were removed, support for independence was at 52 per cent and 48 per cent were against.

It found 47 per cent felt there should be a second independence referendum within the next two years, with 45 per cent against the proposal.

Nicola Sturgeon said the case for independence was growing stronger by the day as Scotland is “dragged towards a no-deal Brexit”.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 09:51

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has written to the prime minister to demand a probe into Sajid Javid’s time at Deutsche Bank.

The Labour frontbencher raised questions about whether the chancellor was involved in tax avoidance while at the firm, and accused the new chancellor of profiting from the “greed” that fuelled the financial crisis.

Here’s our political correspondent Lizzy Buchan with all the details.

Adam Forrest5 August 2019 10:08

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