Boris Johnson says it is 'Loch Ness Monster' territory to claim the NHS is for ...

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Boris Johnson today labelled Labour claims of the NHS being put up for sale in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US 'pure Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle stuff'. 

The Prime Minister took the election fight to a hospital in the East Midlands this morning where he enjoyed a cup of tea with staff and launched a defence of the health service. 

He later journeyed to a school in Nottingham where he joined an art class and tried his hand at making a clay figure as he tried to focus day three of the election campaign proper on his domestic priorities: The NHS and school funding.

Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly claimed that Mr Johnson is planning to 'sell out' the NHS in a trade deal with Donald once the UK has left the EU. 

The Tories have always rejected the claims and Mr Johnson today went even further as he compared Mr Corbyn's accusations to myths like the Loch Ness Monster. 

Mr Johnson has suffered a rocky start to his bid to retain the keys to Number 10 after a number of early setbacks, including the resignation of Alun Cairns from his Cabinet.

And today the Tories' unsteady beginning to the campaign continued as he sparked Remainer fury after telling Northern Ireland business leaders that Ulster will 'keep free movement' under his Brexit deal.  

Pro-EU politicians immediately pounced on the comments and asked why the rest of the UK could not have the same arrangements. 

But Conservative sources tried to snuff out the controversy as they insisted the PM was actually referring to maintaining the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland. 

However, Labour has also experienced a turbulent start to its campaign after it was repeatedly rocked by numerous controversies over its candidate selection while party moderates have refused to back Mr Corbyn to be PM. 

Elsewhere, the BBC announced plans to host a head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn just one week before polling day.

Boris Johnson took his election campaign to a hospital in Mansfield today as he enjoyed a cup of tea with staff

Boris Johnson took his election campaign to a hospital in Mansfield today as he enjoyed a cup of tea with staff

Mr Johnson toured King's Mill NHS Hsopital and met workers and patients as he launched a defence of the health service

Mr Johnson toured King's Mill NHS Hsopital and met workers and patients as he launched a defence of the health service

The PM posed for selfies with staff as he said the Tories are investing more in the health service than 'at any time in recent memory'

The PM posed for selfies with staff as he said the Tories are investing more in the health service than 'at any time in recent memory'

Boris Johnson sparks Remainer row over 'free movement' in Northern Ireland comments

Boris Johnson sparked Remainer fury today after telling Northern Ireland business leaders that Ulster will 'keep free movement' under his Brexit deal. 

The Prime Minister said the divorce accord he has struck with the European Union represented a 'great deal' for the province because free movement would continue and single market access would be maintained.

The comments were immediately pounced on by pro-EU politicians as they asked why Northern Ireland would get the 'great' terms but the rest of the UK would not. 

However, Conservative sources claimed this morning that Mr Johnson was actually referring to the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK rather than EU free movement. 

Labour has long claimed that the Tories will 'sell out' the NHS in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US. 

But Mr Johnson categorically ruled it out during his visit to King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield.  

Asked if he would legislate to protect the NHS from US intervention, Mr Johnson said: 'We can do free trade deals with countries around the world but under us the NHS is not for sale. It's not going to be on any kind of international trade negotiation.

'This is pure Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle stuff.

'The NHS, free at the point of use, is a fantastic service and we not only believe in it, but are investing more in it than at any time in recent memory and we'll continue to do so.'

The NHS will be a key battleground in the run up to December 12 as both the major parties try to persuade voters that the health service is safe in their hands.   

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, today unveiled plans for an 'NHS Visa' to fast track doctors and nurses from abroad into vacancies in the health service. 

Priti Patel sets out plans for 'NHS Visa' in new post-Brexit immigration system

Plans for an 'NHS Visa' to fast track doctors and nurses from abroad into vacancies in the health service have been unveiled by the Tories today.

Medical staff hoping to work here will have a decision on their applications within two weeks, and the visa fee will be half the normal price.

The proposal is part of the Conservative Party's plans to introduce a post-Brexit Australian-style points system which will prioritise migrants with much-needed skills.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will also warn today that Labour's 'uncontrolled and unlimited' migration would put greater pressure on schools and hospitals.

'The choice at this election is clear. Vote Jeremy Corbyn if you want to delay Brexit, get another deadlocked Parliament and two more chaotic referendums, with uncontrolled and unlimited immigration placing pressure on our schools and hospitals,' she will say.

'Or vote Boris Johnson and the Conservatives to get Brexit done, get immigration under control with a Australian-style based points system and get on with investing in our NHS, our schools and our police.' 

Medical staff hoping to work here will have a decision on their applications within two weeks, and the visa fee will be half the normal price.

The proposal is part of the Conservative Party's plans to introduce a post-Brexit Australian-style points system which will prioritise migrants with much-needed skills.

Ms Patel also warned that Labour's 'uncontrolled and unlimited' migration plans would put greater pressure on schools and hospitals.

Mr Johnson's hospital visit was followed up with a trip to George Spencer Academy in Nottingham where he had a go at making a clay figure inspired by Sir Antony Gormley, whose works include the Angel of the North. 

The PM remarked he had 'gunk' on him before declaring the task would be 'a piece of cake'.

But seconds later Mr Johnson paused before joking 'it's all going horribly wrong' as he had not followed the guide and noted he was creating a figure similar to 'Terminator'. 

Mr Johnson's ongoing tour of the country, which yesterday saw him travel so campaign stops in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, came as the BBC set out its plans to hold election debates. 

The broadcaster said that it would host a head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn on Friday December 6. 

The Prime Minister said Labour claims about the NHS being up for sale in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US were 'Loch Ness Monster stuff'

The Prime Minister said Labour claims about the NHS being up for sale in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US were 'Loch Ness Monster stuff'

The NHS will be a key election battleground in the run up to polling day on December 12

The NHS will be a key election battleground in the run up to polling day on December 12

After the trip to the hospital Mr Johnson went to George Spencer Academy in Nottingham where he took part in an art class

After the trip to the hospital Mr Johnson went to George Spencer Academy in Nottingham where he took part in an art class

The Prime Minister appeared to enjoy his trip back to the classroom as he tried his hand at making an Antony Gormley inspired clay figure

The Prime Minister appeared to enjoy his trip back to the classroom as he tried his hand at making an Antony Gormley inspired clay figure

Mr Johnson initially told pupils that making the clay figure would be a 'piece of cake' but later remarked he had ended up with something resembling the 'Terminator'

Mr Johnson initially told pupils that making the clay figure would be a 'piece of cake' but later remarked he had ended up with something resembling the 'Terminator'

Nicola Sturgeon suggests she would help Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister

Nicola Sturgeon launched the SNP's election campaign in Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon launched the SNP's election campaign in Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon warned Boris Johnson not to stand in the way of a new Scottish independence today as she suggested she would be prepared to help Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister.

The Scottish First Minister said she would not do any deals with the current prime minister if there was a hung parliament but was open to an informal arrangement with Labour.

Launching the Scottish Nationalist Party's election campaign today in Edinburgh she said she was open to a 'progressive alliance', suggesting she could back Mr Corbyn in exchange for a new referendum.

She said: 'I'm no fan of Jeremy Corbyn, but you must work with what is in front of you ...  we would drive a hard bargain.'

Mr Corbyn has previously said he would be open to a new Scottish independence referendum, albeit not in the immediate future. 

The last referendum in 2014 saw the country vote 55-45 in favour of staying in the UK.

Ms Sturgeon also said that a vote for her nationalist party was 'a vote to escape Brexit'. 

It will also hold a 'seven-way podium debate' on Friday November 29 between 'leaders or senior figures from the seven major GB political parties'. 

There will also be a two-hour long version of Question Time on on Friday November 22 which will see Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson each take questions from the audience for 30 minutes.

A debate aimed at voters under the age of 30 will also be aired, and the BBC will host debates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland featuring the main parties in each country.

The Tories have made a point so far during the campaign of hitting back hard whenever Labour has claimed the NHS could be sold off to the US. 

The claims were undermined when Mr rubbished the suggestion that the health service would be 'on the table' during trade negotiations. 

Mr also said the first he had heard of the idea had actually been from Mr Corbyn. 

The US President told Nigel Farage during an LBC Radio intreview at the end of October: 'I mean, it's so ridiculous - I think Corbyn put that out there.'

He added: 'We wouldn't even be involved in that... it's not for us to have anything to do with your healthcare system. No, we're just talking about trade.'

Mr Corbyn hit back on Twitter at the time and said: 'Donald is trying to interfere in Britain's election to get his friend Boris Johnson elected. 

'It was who said in June the NHS is 'on the table'. And he knows if Labour wins US corporations won't get their hands on it. Our NHS is not for sale.'

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has accused Labour of peddling 'pathetic scare stories' in a desperate bid to win over voters. 

He said after Mr 's intervention: 'How many more times do Labour's pathetic scare stories need to be rubbished? 

'Labour are

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