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UK General Election update: Labour pledges to spend £26bn on healthcare, Tories take lead in opinion polls

By Hazel Davis

Labour criticises Conservatives for weak commitment to healthcare spending while Boris maintains edge

Just under a month before election day, the Labour Party has outlined its proposals for a “£26bn real terms healthcare funding boost” from 2018-19 to 2023-24, with an emphasis on mental health. The party has criticised the government for neglecting capital expenditure on healthcare and called its commitments in these areas “weak”. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, speaking at an event to launch Labour’s £26bn “rescue plan” for the NHS, pledged that income tax rates, national insurance, and VAT will not increase for 95 per cent of people.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said UK patients face “a winter of misery” that ministers should be apologetic about.

Elsewhere, former Conservative cabinet minister David Gauke, who’s running as an independent candidate, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a Tory majority would result in a “very hard Brexit” that would be disastrous for the country.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister called an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the response to the severe flooding that has affected parts of the UK, while the Lib Dems have pledged to allocate more funds to prevent flooding if they are elected.

The general election is due to take place on 12 December and so far, opinion polls so far show the Conservative Party in the lead by 14 points.

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