Humiliation for Jeremy Corbyn as his Palace confrontation with Donald Trump over the NHS falls flat and he is kept apart from the President – who said he would NOT want the health service even ‘on a silver platter’
- President Donald Trump arrived in London last night ahead of a crunch NATO summit with 29 world leaders
- At a press conference with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg he said he ‘didn’t want to complicate’ election
- He denied Jeremy Corbyn’s claims the NHS will be on the table in post-Brexit trade talks and praised the PM
- US leader said he is still ‘a fan of Brexit’ and that he could ‘work with anyone’ – even a Corbyn government
- Mr Trump and the First Lady will attend a Buckingham Palace reception hosted by the Queen later today
- Arrival comes amid row over Jeremy Corbyn blaming Special Relationship for London Bridge terror attack
Jeremy Corbyn has suffered fresh humiliation by being kept apart from Donald Trump at Tuesday night’s Buckingham Palace reception after vowing to confront the US President over the sanctity of the NHS.
The Labour leader said he would warn the President that ‘public services are not for sale’ at a gathering of NATO leaders and Royals hosted by the Queen.
But in an embarrassing setback, the left-winger never got the chance to speak with Mr Trump and follow through on his promise, which was derided by one cabinet minister as a ‘desperate stunt’.
It is the second blow Mr Corbyn has been dealt today after the President killed his main election attack line by flatly dismissing the idea he wants a post-Brexit trade deal 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, Mr Trump insisted the US ‘wouldn’t touch the NHS if you gave it to us on a silver platter’.
In what appeared to be a carefully-designed piece of royal choreography, Mr Corbyn and Mr Trump barely managed to set eyes upon each other at the Palace.
Whether it was an accident of drinks party dynamics, or a deliberate attempt to keep the pair of them apart, it appeared that the two men were destined not to meet.
Instead for most of the reception they were not even in the same room.
Labour sources confirmed that Mr Corbyn had not managed to challenge Mr Trump in person at the gathering.
US President Donald Trump and wife Melania arrive at Clarence House to meet Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall before being whisked to Buckingham Palace for a gathering of Nato leaders
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured on This Morning on Tuesday) has suffered fresh humiliation by being kept apart from Donald Trump at Tuesday night’s Buckingham Palace reception after vowing to confront the US President over the sanctity of the NHS.
The dramatic spat came as Mr Corbyn tries to ‘weaponise’ the President’s arrival as he desperately works to claw back the Tories’ poll advantage. A poll today found the Conservatives are 12 points ahead, enough for a comfortable majority.
On Monday 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.
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 series of interviews, Mr Corbyn said he was planning to challenge the President over the health service at the Palace.
He said he would tell Mr Trump: ‘Welcome to this country. I hope you’ll understand how precious our national health service is, and in any future trade relationship with the USA, none of our public services are on the table, none of our public services are for sale and investor state protection is not acceptable to our government when we’ve won this election.’
However, Mr Corbyn 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.
This is while Prime Minister Boris Johnson today hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for talks in Downing Street amid growing tensions within the Western alliance over the conflict in Syria.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at a reception for NATO leaders hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to confront Donald Trump
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) talks to guests during a reception at Buckingham Palace, London, as Nato leaders gather to mark 70 years of the alliance
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen arrives at a reception for NATO leaders this evening at Buckingham Palace
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) greets the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel (left) with a firm handshake
Police move in to separate the anti-Nato protest with a pro-Trump counter demonstration outside Buckingham Palace tonight
Scuffles between pro and anti Trump demonstrators broke out outside the Palace, with protester Danny Tommo, a Tommy Robinson supporter, pictured being bundled away by police
Anti-Trump activists made their anger known outside the Palace tonight as they waved banners and yelled chants blasting the US President
The Princess Royal talks to guests during a reception this evening and laughs during the talks as the guests wait to officially begin the evening
Jeremy Corbyn vowed to confront Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace tonight over the NHS and its role in a post Brexit US-UK trade deal. It follows an awkward joint press conference by the US President and Emmanuel Macron this afternoon. The pair are feuding over the future of NATO after Macron called the alliance ‘brain dead’
Mr Corbyn said he would tell Mr Trump: ”Welcome to this country. I hope you’ll understand how precious our national health service is, and in any future trade relationship with the USA, none of our public services are on the table, none of our public services are for sale and investor state protection is not acceptable to our government when we’ve won this election.’
On the campaign trail: Boris Johnson was todya on the campaign trail in Salisbury – where Sergei Skripal was poisoned by the GRU – as he hammered Jeremy Corbyn as a ‘security risk’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd R) meets with French President Emmanuel Macron (L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (2nd L) during the Quartet Syria Summit in London
Anti-Trump protesters in Trafalgar Square, London, for a ‘Hands off our NHS’ protest against the US President who is visiting this week
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’.
Tories have 12-point poll lead as election looms
Mr Corbyn is desperately trying to claw back the Tories’ election advantage, with a poll today showing they are 12 points ahead of Labour
Boris Johnson and the Tories hold a 12 point poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party with the general election now just nine days away.
A new survey conducted by Kantar between November 28 and December 2 puts the Conservative Party on 44 per cent overall, a one per cent increase on the company’s last poll on November 26.
But while the Tories have edged forward, Labour has stalled with the party recording a rating of 32 per cent – the same as the last poll.
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’.
‘No, not at all. I have nothing to do with it, never even thought about it,’ he said.
Mr Trump 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 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.’
Mr Trump also blasted French President Emanuel Macron for suggesting NATO was at risk of suffering ‘brain death.’
The jibe prompted a brutal response from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said Mr Macron was the one in danger of ‘brain death’.
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.’
On Emmanuel Macron’s ‘brain dead’ NATO jibe: ‘You just can’t go around making statements like that against NATO. It’s very disrespectful.’
On his controversial deal with Turkey: ‘We left their border. We’ve been on their border long enough. They’re doing just fine on their border. We kept the oil. I kept the oil.’
Mr Trump said today it had been a ‘very nasty’ statement.
‘You just can’t go around making statements like that against NATO. It’s very disrespectful,’ he said.
Mr Trump and Mr Macron met on the sidelines of the summit today and the increasingly tense relatrionship was clear for all to see.
The subject of Islamic State fighters from France, Germany and the UK who are detained in the Middle East was raised and Mr Trump asked Mr Macron: ‘Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I can give them to you.’
The French president was visibly displeased by the remark.
Told on the BBC’s Jeremy Vine show that Mr Trump had ruled out seeking control of the NHS for US firms, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I’m pleased that he said that. But if that is the case why have the talks gone on for the last two years? Why have they been kept secret?’
He added that there were still ‘very legitimate grounds for concern’.
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, 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.
The Queen welcomes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Buckingham Palace, left, as a gaggle of anti-Donald Trump protesters gathered outside, right
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.
Trump blasts Macron over NATO ‘brain death’ jibe
President Donald Trump needled French President Emmanuel Macron over a heated dispute about accepting captured ISIS fighters – offering to ‘give them to you’ – after kicking off meetings in London with an attack his ‘nasty’ comments about NATO.
Seated alongside Macron on his first day of meetings here, Trump took a dig at Macron for France and other European nations being reluctant to accept nationals from their own countries who joined the fight alongside ISIS terrorists.
Trump turned to his counterpart and asked: ‘Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you.’
The moment came hours after Trump had blasted Macron for previous comments that NATO was suffering ‘brain death’ – although the two leaders appeared to patch things up afterward.
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.
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.
Schedule for Trump’s NATO visit
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
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 (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
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’
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau met Prince Charles at Clarence House today as the NATO summit kicked off
US President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania stepped off the plane in London last night
Mr Trump’s arrival in London prompted a pro-NHS demonstration in Trafalgar Square as the US President was told to ‘keep your hands off’ the health service
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.
‘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.
Jeremy Corbyn REFUSES to say if terrorists should get full life prison terms and is forced to deny that he wants to ABOLISH MI5
Jeremy Corbyn today refused to say whether he believed ‘life should mean life’ for terrorists convicted of the most serious offences.
He was also forced to deny that he and his allies want to abolish the UK’s intelligence services.
He made the remarks during an appearance on ITV’s This Morning programme as he was grilled by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
It came after Boris Johnson suggested Mr Corbyn would be a security risk if he becomes PM.
Mr Johnson said the UK’s closest allies were ‘very anxious’ about Mr Corbyn being elected to Number 10 and accused him of being ‘naive’ to the terror risk Britain faces in the wake of the London Bridge attack.
Mr Corbyn is desperately trying to kick start Labour’s general election campaign amid signs that the party is stalling in the polls and still remains a long way behind the Tories.
But the Labour leader’s appearance on TV this morning was dominated by questions about his approach to justice and national security.
Mr Corbyn was asked by Mr Schofield ‘should life be life’ for terrorists convicted of the most serious offences.
The Labour leader refused to be drawn as he replied: ‘Prison sentences should be decided by courts and the management of the prison sentence should be also decided by a combination of the prison service.
‘But the point I am making very strongly is that our prison service is woefully underfunded and the rehabilitation and the programmes to stop people being radicalised have often been insufficient in prison and I think the lesson from this horrible tragedy is that we have to improve that.’
His latest remarks come after he said yesterday that convicted terrorists should only be released from prison after completing a ‘significant proportion’ of their jail sentences.
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.’
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan arrives at Downing Street for talks with Boris Johnson
Emmanuel Macron also visited Boris Johnson in Number 10 along with Angela Merkel, right
Nicola Sturgeon is pictured campaigning in Perth today
Mr Trump said Boris Johnson (pictured right today meeting war veteran James Gammer in Salisbury, site of the Russian Novichok outrage) was doing a ‘good job’
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
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
Jeremy Corbyn finally said sorry for the anti-Semitism crisis that has engulfed the Labour Party – but insisted he has ‘dealt with it’.
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 Holly Willoughby, he was pressed to say sorry, with Schofield asking: ‘Why can’t you say sorry?’
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 BBC’s Andrew Neil, Mr Corbyn said he wanted to have ‘a discussion’ with Ephraim Mirvis after he accused the left-winger of allowing the ‘poison’ of anti-Semitism to take root in Labour.
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.
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