John McDonnell renews Labour’s war with Donald Trump by accusing him of having a ‘passing relationship with the truth’ after Jeremy Corbyn FAILS to confront the US president over NHS at Buckingham Palace
- Labour has been desperately trying to ‘weaponise’ Donald Trump’s visit as the trail the Tories in the polls
- Shadow chancellor John McDonnell swipes that US president has ‘passing relationship with the truth’
- US president has flatly denied Jeremy Corbyn’s claims the NHS will be on the table in post-Brexit trade talks
- Mr Corbyn vowed to challenge Mr Trump over the Labour attack line at a Buckingham Palace reception
John McDonnell took an axe to the Special Relationship today – accusing Donald Trump of having a ‘passing relationship with the truth’ and suggesting he wants him to be kicked out of the White House.
The shadow chancellor ignored diplomatic conventions by effectively branding the US president a liar during an speech in Birmingham.
The dramatic attack came after Jeremy Corbyn humiliatingly failed to confront Mr Trump over Labour’s blustering claims that the US wants to seize the the NHS as part of a post-Brexit trade deal.
Mr Corbyn had said he was planning to challenge the President at a Buckingham Palace reception last night and tell him that ‘public services are not for sale’.
But in an embarrassing setback, the veteran left-winger did not manage to get close enough to speak to Mr Trump.
It was the second blow Mr Corbyn has been dealt yesterday 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.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell ignored diplomatic conventions by effectively branding the US president a liar during an speech in Birmingham (pictured)
Corbyn had said he was planning to challenge Mr Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception last night and tell him that ‘public services are not for sale’ – but embarrassingly failed to get close to the president
Mr Trump (left with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg today) has been in Hertfordshire for the military alliance’s summit today
Asked if Mr Trump is lying when he says he is not interested in the NHS being on the table during trade talks, Mr McDonnell said: ‘All the evidence that we’ve seen has demonstrated objectively that it is.
‘Donald Trump has a passing relationship with reality and truth sometimes. I believe in one instance claimed he didn’t know what the initials NHS stood for, so the reality is the evidence is there and the anxiety that we have about the NHS under Boris Johnson regime and his relationship with trump causes us extreme concern.’
Pressed on Mr Trump suggesting Mr Corbyn would find him easy to work with, Mr McDonnell said: ‘It’s encouraging to know that we can maintain a good working relationship with the people of America in the future.’
To laughter from supporters attending a speech at Birmingham’s Park Regis hotel, he added: ‘After possibly another election.’
He added: ‘Obviously, Jeremy will work with leaders all over the world including Donald Trump and we will ensure that whatever happens in the future we will look after the interests of our own people as well as other across the globe.’
Speaking as he ran the gauntlet of a Nato summit in London yesterday, 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.
Labour has been desperately trying to ‘weaponise’ the President’s visit to overhaul the Tories’ poll advantage.
A poll today found the Conservatives nine points ahead, enough for a comfortable majority.
On Monday Mr Corbyn 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.’
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.
Anti-Trump protesters in Trafalgar Square, London, for a ‘Hands off our NHS’ protest against the US President who is visiting this week