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  1. ITV Report

Boris Johnson 'got a complete bitch slap' from Theresa May after breaking ranks with his call for extra NHS funding

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent, Paul Brand

Boris Johnson "got a complete bitch slap" from Theresa May and was "slapped down" by other Cabinet members after his public call for extra NHS funding, ITV News has learned.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was among the ministers dressing down the foreign secretary for speaking out beyond his department brief.

ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand reported the extraordinary language an unnamed Cabinet member used to describe the fiery meeting.

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Brand said Mr Johnson also "bottled" mentioning the £100 million figure though he personally raised the issue of NHS during an hour-long discussion chaired by the PM.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond had already publicly rebuked Mr Johnson, reminding him he was "the foreign secretary" and not the health secretary after it was reported he would use the Cabinet meeting to call for an extra £100 million a week for the NHS after Brexit.

Arriving at a European Union meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Mr Hammond pointedly said future funding arrangements for the NHS would be set out at the next spending review.

Last week Mr Johnson said he thought the health service should be "at the very top of the list" for a windfall after the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Hammond used his autumn Budget to commit £2.8 billion extra to the NHS in England, along with £3.5 billion of capital funding.

Boris Johnson is understood to have not mentioned the £100 million figure at the Cabinet meeting. Credit: PA

Mrs May's former chief of staff Nick Timothy also hit out at Mr Johnson, saying: "Breaching collective responsibility and leaking Cabinet discussions are bad enough but part of political life.

"But pre-briefing your disagreement with Government policy ahead of Cabinet?"

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston suggested the issue could be an attempt for the foreign secretary to drive a wedge with the PM.

If Johnson feels his best chance of becoming leader would be by first preparing the ground from the back benches, the principled reason for resigning - in order to win back the support of sceptical colleagues - would be because the Prime Minister is offering the wrong kind of Brexit.

And his personal manifesto pledge would be the late delivery of that £350m for hospitals!

– Robert Peston, ITV News Political Editor

Britain will likely continue paying into the EU budget until the end of 2021, with Mr Johnson insisting the Government will save hundreds of millions of pounds in the years out of the EU.

Former Tory leader hopeful Mr Johnson was rebuked last week after he said the Leave campaign underestimated when it claimed Brexit would allow an extra £350 million to be spent on the NHS weekly.

The issue of NHS funding comes amid huge strain on the health service.

Leading health expert Professor Sir Michael Marmot said the controversial claim of the Brexit campaign has already been confirmed as false.

The foreign secretary's move comes as Tories complain about a lack of boldness from Mrs May's government amid the electoral threat of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.