Donald Trump today took a wrecking ball to Jeremy Corbyn’s claims that he wants to seize the NHS – insisting the US has no interest in including it in a post-Brexit trade deal.
The US president flatly dismissed the Labour leader’s warning that he wants to open the health service to American companies and push up drugs prices.
Speaking as he ran the gauntlet of a NATO summit in London with the election campaign in full swing, Mr Trump insisted the US ‘wouldn’t touch the NHS if you gave it to us on a silver platter’.
And despite initially saying he had ‘no thoughts’ on the UK ballot, Mr Trump lavished praise on Boris Johnson for doing a ‘great job’ and made clear he had always supported Brexit.
The dramatic intervention came as Mr Corbyn went all-out to ‘weaponise’ the President’s arrival as he desperately tries to claw back the Tories’ poll advantage. A poll today found the Conservatives are 12 points ahead, enough for a comfortable majority.
Yesterday Labour released an extraordinary video blaming Britain’s close relationship with the US for the London Bridge terror attacks – despite pleas to avoid politicising the atrocity.
Today the veteran left-winger has written to Mr Trump urging him to guarantee that the NHS will not form part of a trade deal.
In an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, Mr Corbyn said he was planning to confront the president over the health service at a Buckingham Palace reception this evening.
However, he dodged when pressed over allegations leaked documents on US-UK trade discussion had been circulated by Russia. He claims the details showed the NHS was ‘on the table’ – although the Tories have ridiculed the idea.
Asked if the NHS should be a part of post-Brexit trade talks, Mr Trump said: ‘No, not at all. I have nothing to do with it, never even thought about it.’
He then praised the US healthcare system before adding: ‘In this country they have to work that out for themselves …
‘I don’t even know where that rumour started, we have absolutely nothing to do with it.
‘And we wouldn’t want to if you handed it to us on a silver-platter, we want nothing to do with it.’
Mr Trump also delivered a thinly-veiled swipe at Mr Corbyn, saying he ‘knew nothing about’ the Labour leader. Pushed on whether he could work with him in No10, he replied: ‘I can work with anybody, I’m a very easy person to work with.’
US President Donald Trump was probed on the UK election at a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Secretary General Stoltenberg (left) but refused to give anything away and said he ‘didn’t want to complicate it’
President Trump is pictured at Winfield House in London this morning for the first meeting of a two-day NATO summit
Mr Corbyn (pictured supporting a strike at University of London today) is going all out to ‘weaponise’ the President’s arrival, and released a video yesterday blaming Britain’s close relationship with the US for the London Bridge terror attacks
Mr Trump said Boris Johnson (pictured right meeting war veteran James Gammer in Salisbury today) was doing a ‘good job’
The US President took questions from reporters before a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
At first he refused to be drawn on the election, saying he was ‘staying out’ and ‘didn’t want to complicate it’.
Donald Trump’s best quotes from his press conference on Day One of visit to London
On the General Election: ‘I don’t want to complicate it. I have won a lot of elections for a lot of people, but this is a different country.
Asked why he is staying out of the election, He said: ‘Because I don’t want to complicate it.’
He added: ‘I’ll stay out of the election. You know that I was a fan of Brexit. I called it the day before.
Mr Trump added: ‘I think Boris is very capable and I think he’ll do a good job.’
On the NHS being on the table in a post-Brexit trade deal: ‘No, not at all. I have nothing to do with it, never even thought about it.
‘I don’t even know where that rumour started, we have absolutely nothing to do with it.
‘And we wouldn’t want to if you handed it to us on a silver-platter, we want nothing to do with it.’
On working with Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I can work with anybody.
‘I’m a very easy person to work with.
‘I know nothing about the gentleman, Jeremy Corbyn, nothing about him.’
On Harry Dunn: ‘You’re talking about the woman who had the accident with the young man on the motorcycle?
‘I had his parents up and they’re lovely people.
‘I spoke to the woman who has diplomatic immunity who works for the government and we’re trying to work something out.’
On Brexit: ‘I’ll stay out of the election. You know that I was a fan of Brexit. I called it the day before.’
On the US impeachment inquiry: The impeachment hoax is going nowhere, we have great support.
‘In the whole history of the Republican Party we have never had such great support.’
On Prince Andrew: ‘I don’t know prince Andrew but it’s a tough story.’
Mr Johnson has forged a warm allliance with Mr Trump, but Tories are nervous that an outburst at the two-day summit could disrupt the election campaign.
The PM is set to duck a bilateral meeting with the president, although the pair are likely to hold talks ‘in the margins’.
Despite his initial reluctance, Mr Trump soon expanded on his views, saying he ‘thinks Boris will do a good job’.
‘I think Boris is very capable and I think he’ll do a good job,’ he said.
He denied rumours that the NHS could be on the table in post-Brexit trade talks and said he has ‘nothing to do with it’ and has ‘never even thought about it’.
Asked if he could work with Mr Corbyn and a Labour government he said he could ‘work with anyone’, before declaring is a ‘fan of Brexit’ and that he ‘called it the day before’.
On This Morning, Mr Corbyn was asked about questions arising over whether Russian disinformation was behind Labour’s 451-page unredacted report on trade talks.
Repeatedly dodging the issue of whether Moscow might have been involved, he said: ‘If the document is not accurate, then why is it, it’s been out there all this time, no minister has claimed it’s inaccurate.
‘No Government has, and in reality the minutes are there of meetings which involved Liam Fox in the early stages and officials later on.’
Answering questions as he met veterans in Salisbury today, Mr Johnson ridiculed the Labour attack, saying he could ‘categorically rule out’ that ‘any part of the NHS will be on the table in any trade negotiations’, adding this included pharmaceuticals.
He said: ‘This is pure Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle stuff.’
Mr Johnson said the NATO alliance is in ‘good health’ before he was pressed for his message to Mr Trump.
The PM said: ‘My message to the president, to all presidents – President Trump, President Macron, President Erdogan, Chancellor Merkel, all our friends – is look, this is a great alliance, it has had fantastic success for 70 years, it has delivered peace and prosperity.’ He urged them to ‘tackle the threats’ as one, noting: ‘Safety in numbers.’
Later today, Trump and First Lady Melania will attend a fundraiser in Park Lane and meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This afternoon he will have tea with Prince Charles and Camilla before a reception for NATO leaders with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and another at Downing Street.
Ahead of this morning’s meeting, PM Mr Johnson appealed for unity among the leaders of the 29 member states – also including Germany’s Angela Merkel, Frances Emmanuel Macron and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – amid differences over Syria.
The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will formally greet NATO leaders at this evening’s reception, which marks 70 years of the alliance.
Charles and the Monarch will then join the politicians for a group photograph.
The royals will be out in force for the event, including the Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.
Prince William is away in the Middle East, while Prince Harry and wife Meghan are on a six-week break from royal engagements over the festive period.
Prince Andrew, who stepped down from public duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview about his association with convicted padeophile Jeffrey Epstein, is also not attending.
The President’s arrival yesterday came at the end of a day that saw complaints both main UK political parties have exploited the deadly London Bridge attack.
In an extraordinary campaign video yesterday, Mr Corbyn effectively blamed the Special Relationship for the London Bridge terror attack.
Schedule for Trump’s NATO visit
9:10am One-on-one meeting with NATO’s Secretary-General
9:30am Working breakfast with NATO Secretary-General
11:00am Trump departs Winfield House to the InterContinental Hotel on London’s Park Lane
11:15am Trump arrives at the InterContinental London Park Lane
11:30am Roundtable with supporters
12:05pm Trump departs InterContinental for Winfield House
12.20pm Trump arrives at Winfield House
2pm Bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron
2.20pm Macron meeting opens to press
3.30pm Bilateral meeting with Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
4.55pm Trump and First Lady depart Winfield House for Clarence House
5:10pm Trump and First Lady arrive at Clarence House
5:15pm Couple have tea with Prince Charles and Camilla
5:50pm Couple depart Clarence House for Buckingham Palace
6:00pm Trump and First Lady attend NATO leaders’ Reception hosted by Her Majesty The Queen
7:35pm Trump departs Palace for 10 Downing Street
7:40pm Trump and Melania arrive at Downing Street
7:45pm Couple attend NATO leaders’ reception hosted by PM Boris Johnson
9:05pm Couple depart Downing Street for Winfield House
9.30pm Couple return to Winfield House
The footage showed images including flowers next to the road sign in the capital, with a soundtrack of Mr Corbyn condemning Western aggression for fuelling terrorism and emotional music.
Mr Corbyn tweeted the video along with a message that Mr Johnson should ‘stop clinging on to Donald Trump’s coat-tails’.
The Labour leader has a long record of opposing US influence throughout 30 years as a relatively obscure Labour backbencher.
He has previously insisted the NATO military alliance should have been scrapped decades ago, dismissed Britain’s ‘global role’, and said nuclear weapons should be unilaterally given up.
Last week MailOnline highlighted a 2014 article by Mr Corbyn’s closest aide, Seumas Milne, branding NATO a ‘colonial expeditionary force’ and calling for US bases in the UK to be closed and personnel sent home.
Last night the Labour leader wrote to Mr Trump demanding that he guarantees the US will not try to push NHS medicine prices up through a post-Brexit trade deal.
But Mr Corbyn is facing questions over leaked trade documents which experts said had hallmarks of a Russian fake news campaign.
He published the 451 pages of unredacted, classified files last week to back up his claims of a Tory plot to sell off the NHS. The documents were dismissed as not showing what he said they did.
And experts yesterday claimed the leak resembled a disinformation campaign uncovered this year which originated in Russia.
Researchers at Oxford and Cardiff universities, the Atlantic Council think-tank and social media analytics firm Graphika said the manner in which the files were first leaked online mirrored a campaign called Secondary Infektion.
Secondary Infektion, uncovered by the Atlantic Council in June, used fabricated or altered documents to spread fake news across at least 30 online platforms. It stemmed from a network of social media accounts which Facebook said ‘originated in Russia’.
Experts warned the similarities with the campaign and the manner in which the NHS documents were published could signal foreign interference in Britain’s election.
Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at Graphika, said: ‘It’s on the same set of websites [as Secondary Infektion], it’s using the same types of accounts and making the same language errors. It’s either the Russian operation or someone trying hard to look like it.’
A Labour spokesman said: ‘Neither the UK nor the US government have denied their authenticity. Given what they reveal, it’s not surprising that there are attempts to muddy the waters to cover up what has been exposed.’
Mr Corbyn is desperately trying to claw back the Tories’ election advantage, with a poll today showing they are 12 points ahead of Labour
US President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania stepped off the plane in London tonight
President Trump is pictured above after he arrived at Stansted Airport this evening ahead of the Nato summit
Writing to Trump, Mr Corbyn said: ‘As you will know, the potential impact of any future UK-US trade agreement on our National Health Service and other vital public services is of profound concern to the British public.
‘A critical issue in this context is the cost of drugs to our NHS. The cost of patented drugs in the US is approximately 2.5 times higher than in the UK, and the price of the top 20 medicines is 4.8 times higher than in the UK.
‘Any increase in the NHS drugs bill would be an unacceptable outcome of US-UK trade negotiations.
Corbyn says terrorists should serve ‘significant proportion’ of sentences
Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure over his suggestion that convicted terrorists should ‘not necessarily’ serve their whole prison sentences.
Pressed during a campaign event at London’s Finsbury Park station over whether released terror convicts should be reassessed and serve their full sentences, the Labour leader said it is ‘quite right to look at every case’.
He said: ‘I think terrorists should be sentenced, as they are, and they should be released as and when they have completed a significant proportion of their sentence and they’ve undergone rehabilitation and they are considered safe to the public as a whole.
‘I do think that continuing with the process allows people to be released ahead of final complete of their sentence if they’ve been rehabilitated and they have been suitably assessed and they are very strictly monitored when they come out – I think that must be the correct way of doing things.
‘There are enormous questions to be learned from this terrible event that happened last week and that is, what happened in the prison with this particular individual, what assessment was made of his psychological condition before he was released and also what supervision and monitoring he was under after coming out?’
‘Yet you have given a number of clear and worrying indications that this is exactly what you hope to achieve.’
He told Trump it would ‘go a long way to reassuring the British public’ if he rowed back from the NHS-related negotiation aims seen in the leaked civil service paper on the UK-US talks.
Mr Corbyn sent a letter with similar demands to the Prime Minister on Monday, the eve of the NATO summit.
Trump has previously claimed it would be ‘so bad’ for Britain if Mr Corbyn was to become Prime Minister.
The US leader told Nigel Farage’s LBC radio programme in October: ‘Corbyn would be so bad for your country, he’d be so bad, he’d take you on such a bad way. He’d take you into such bad places.’
Meanwhile yesterday Boris Johnson defended launching a crackdown on the treatment of convicted terrorists after the rampage by 28-year-old Usman Khan, who was out of prison on licence.
Former University of Cambridge students Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, were fatally stabbed during a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday.
Khan was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he launched the attack, which injured three others, after he was invited to the prisoner rehabilitation conference on Friday afternoon.
The event was organised held by Learning Together, a programme associated with Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology.
Speaking to reporters in Southampton yesterday, the PM rejected the idea that his action was a knee-jerk response.
‘Look at my 2012 manifesto on crime … I’ve campaigned for a long time for longer sentences for serious and violent offenders,’ he said.
Mr Johnson said it was ‘probably clear from the outset’ that Khan was ‘too tough to crack’ when it came to rehabilitation.
‘What I’m saying is our job is to keep the public safe and that’s what we want to do,’ he added.
Meanwhile demonstrations are planned at Buckingham Palace today to coincide with the reception for Mr Trump and other world leaders in the grand State Rooms.
Among the protesters will be NHS nurses, doctors and workers campaigning over potential risks to the NHS from a future US-UK trade deal.
Nick Dearden, from Global Justice Now, said: ‘Tuesday’s demonstration will be led by nurses and doctors – to symbolise the millions of people who will stand up for our health service against a US president who simply represents the biggest, greediest corporate interests in the world.’
Stand Up To Trump, Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) will be among the groups taking part.
Lindsey German, from Stop the War Coalition, said: ‘We need an alternative to war, militarism and racism – an anti-war government and a mass demonstration against Trump and Nato.’
CND general secretary Kate Hudson described Nato as ‘a hugely dangerous and destructive nuclear-armed alliance with the capacity to destroy all forms of life many times over’.
She added: ‘This is no time to celebrate and welcome it to London.’
Heavily armed British police are also deeply involved in the security operation surrounding the US President
Heavy security: A Secret Service vehicle leaves Winfield House in London where Donald Trump is staying
Mr Trump tweeted a video of take-off and referred to the House impeachment report on him which will be unveiled in the US today behind closed doors for key politicians
Mrs Trump smiles and waves as she leaves the White House today before boarding Marine One. She is traveling with her husband to London
Jeremy Corbyn FINALLY says sorry for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party but insists he has ‘dealt with it’ as he is savaged by Philip Schofield in bad-tempered This Morning interview
The opposition leader apologised in a bad-tempered exchange live on This Morning after being pressed by host Philip Schofield.
Mr Corbyn has steadfastly refused in recent days to apologise directly in media interviews in recent days as the issue has reared its head in the election campaign – although he has had sorry previously.
But appearing on ITV’s magazine show with Schofield and co-host
Mr Corbyn finally relented saying: ‘Obviously I am very sorry for everything that has happened.
‘But I would like to make it clear that we are dealing with it – I have dealt with it.’
Appearing on ITV’s magazine show with Philip Schofield and co-host Holly Willoughby, he was pressed to say sorry, with Schofield asking: ‘Why can’t you say sorry?’
Mr Corbyn finally relented, telling them: ‘Obviously I am very sorry for everything that has happened’
He added: ‘Other parties are also affected by anti-Semitism.
‘Candidates have been withdrawn by the Liberal Democrats, and the Conservatives and by us because of it. We just do not accept it in any form whatsoever.’
Mr Corbyn was embroiled in a row with the Chief Rabbi last week, saying he was ‘wrong’ to accuse Labour of failing to tackle anti-Semitism – as the party leader refused four times to apologise to British Jews.
In a bruising prime time pre-election interview with the
The Labour leader was challenged over Mr Mirvis’s allegation that Labour’s claims it is doing everything to tackle anti-Jewish racism was a ‘mendacious fiction’.
‘No, he’s not right. Because he would have to produce the evidence to say that’s mendacious,’ Mr Corbyn replied.
He insisted he has ‘developed a much stronger process’ and had sanctioned and removed members who have been anti-Semitic.
But he floundered when Mr Neil detailed specific cases of anti-Semitism by Labour members who faced little or no sanction.