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Winter election a 'once in generation chance' to protect NHS from privatisation

JEREMY CORBYN accused Boris Johnson today of putting the NHS “up for grabs” for private corporations, during what could have been the pair’s final clash before a pre-Christmas election.

The Labour leader said that the snap general election planned for December 12 would be a “once-in-a-generation chance” to end privatisation of the NHS by kicking the Tories out of office.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Corbyn said that the Conservatives have imposed the “longest spending squeeze ever in NHS history.”

He noted that NHS officials have reportedly been in secret talks with US-based pharmaceutical firms to prepare to put the NHS on the table in a post-Brexit trade deal yet to be agreed with US President Donald Trump.

“This government is preparing to sell out our NHS. Our health service is in more danger than at any time in its glorious history,” Mr Corbyn said.

PM Mr Johnson claimed that a Labour government would result in an “economic catastrophe,” before going on to vow that he would end “dither and delay” over Brexit — despite breaking his own “do or die” pledge to take Britain out of the EU by today.

As PMQs took place, the Lords prepared to consider the one-page Bill passed by MPs on Tuesday that would enable an election to take place on Thursday December 12.

After receiving royal assent, it would pave the way for Parliament to be dissolved on Wednesday November 6.

Mr Johnson has cautioned his MPs ahead of a “tough” general election battle.

Tory MP Amber Rudd — who gave up the whip after 21 rebel colleagues were suspended — and Sir David Lidington announced today that they will not stand in the election, joining a growing number of Tory or former Tory independents not standing.

Some 17 Labour MPs, three Lib Dems, two former Labour MPs, Speaker John Bercow and The Independent Group for Change’s Joan Ryan have also announced that they will not stand. 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that Labour’s campaign offered the party a real opportunity for government.

“We’re going to have a real go at this and I think we’ll win,” he said.

“I think we’ll have a majority government by Christmas, so I can’t think of a better Christmas present, basically.”

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