Punters have backed the Tories for the General Election in droves this morning after Donald Trump said America wouldn’t buy the NHS if it was handed it “on a silver platter”.
His denial sparked a tranche of betting that cut the odds of a Tory majority on Ladbrokes from 1/2 into 4/9.
When asked if the NHS would be a part of UK-US post-Brexit trade talks, Trump said: “No, not at all I’ve got nothing to do with it, never thought about it.
“In this country, no, they have to work that out for themsleves.
“We have absolutely – 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 wouldn’t want anything to do with it.”
The rumour started after Trump was asked at a press conference earlier this year if the NHS would be involved in a US-UK free trade agreement.
The President answered: “Everything’s on the table, so the NHS or anything else or a lot more than that, everything will be on the table, absolutely.”
The statement planted the seeds of Labour’s General Election campaign, which has adopted the catchphrase “our NHS is not for sale”.
Despite consistent Tory statements to the contrary, the line has become a favourite of Jeremy Corbyn.
It culminated in a dramatic press conference last week where the Labour leader produced documents that he claimed showed that UK trade officials were offering up the NHS in trade talks.
However, on scrutiny the 451 pages of classified documents did not appear to show that.
It did, however, show that US trade officials had made clear in the transcripts that their starting position is to leave everything on the table and make concessions from there.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said today that the NHS was not going to be privatised in a fiery interview with the BBC today.
“[We’re] absolutely clear there’s going to be no privatisation of the NHS under the Conservatives’ watch or this Prime Minister’s watch,” he said.
“In relation to drugs, there’s going to be no dilution of our protection of consumers in this country.
“Obviously we want the cheapest and highest quality medicines coming into the NHS, there’s going to be no dilution of our position on that whatsoever.”
Trump was also asked this morning about Corbyn and if he needed to do more about antisemitism in the Labour party.
Trump responded: “I know nothing about the gentleman.
“Really. Jeremy Corbyn – know nothing about him.”