General Election 2019: Tories ramp up Brexit message as Labour hits back on NHS

10 December 2019, 05:31

The Tory and Labour leaders have just two days of campaigning left
The Tory and Labour leaders have just two days of campaigning left. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

With just days to go until the nation goes to the polls both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson try to pivot campaigns to Brexit and the NHS.

Boris Johnson will warn he is "taking nothing for granted" on Tuesday as he announces the "clear and present" danger of another hung parliament if voters do not turn out to support the Conservatives on Thursday.

Using a visit to Staffordshire to urge voters to turn out for the Tories on Thursday and hand him the Commons majority he needs to form the next government.

After criticism of the Prime Minister's reaction to an image of an unwell child who was forced to sleep on the floor of a hospital, Labour have pushed their NHS message.

Jeremy Corbyn's party has said there are just 100 days left to pull the NHS "back from the brink," promising to end the privatisation of the healthcare system and repeal the Health and Social Care Act.

Addressing supporters on Tuesday, Mr Johnson is expected to say: "There are sophisticated and well-financed attempts underway to prevent a Conservative majority through tactical voting."

In a speech designed to appeal to Leave voters, the Tory leader will say unless he forms the next government the country will be "stuck in this limbo, this first circle of hell, for the foreseeable future."

However, Mr Johnson will pledge with a majority Conservative government, he will "get Brexit done," which would allow the country to "literally rip up the EU rule book and write a new one for ourselves."

Boris Johnson is in the 'high-viz jacket' stage of campaigning
Boris Johnson is in the 'high-viz jacket' stage of campaigning. Picture: PA

The opinion polls have consistently shown the Conservatives ahead of Labour, but leading Tory figures - including Mr Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings - have warned the race is much tighter.

The Lib Dems have insisted they said they would not put Mr Corbyn in No 10 while Labour has said that in the event of a hung parliament they would seek to form a minority government rather than enter into any formal pacts or coalition's with other parties.

While the Conservatives try to steer the election towards Brexit, Labour is trying to pivot back to one of its core election campaign targets, the NHS with the party suggesting there are just "100 days to pull NHS back from the brink."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attempting to pull a pint
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attempting to pull a pint. Picture: PA

Labour has claimed government under-funding of the NHS is leaving patients at risk as it seeks to rally support ahead of the General Election on Thursday.

The party said an analysis it had conducted of more than 120 NHS trust board papers had identified hundreds of risks to patient safety classed as "catastrophic" or "extreme".

It said the majority were linked to spending, staff shortages or failures of privatisation and promised a Labour government would conduct an immediate audit of the risks revealed.

In response, the Conservatives said they were committed to the "largest hospital building programme in a generation" if they were returned to power.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "These shocking reports reveal an NHS in crisis and on the brink.

"We pledge that within the first 100 days of a Labour government we will get on top of this to ensure the extra funding we've promised is prioritised to keep patients and staff safe."

For the Tories, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We are already embarking on the largest hospital building programme in a generation, building 40 new hospitals across the country, as well as investing in hospital upgrades and new machines to boost early cancer diagnosis.

"This is on top of the extra £33.9 billion a year by 2023-24 that the Government is providing to the NHS."