NHS to be given extra £5.4bn over next six months to cover Covid costs and backlog – as it happened

Department of Health and Social Care admits money will not be enough to stop waiting lists rising before they start to fall. This live blog is now closed – for the latests on coronavirus, follow our dedicated blog

Alex Stafford, a “Red Wall” Tory elected in 2019 (he is the first Conservative to represent Rother Valley in Yorkshire), has told Times Radio this morning that he is opposed to putting up taxes to raise more money for social care without that being linked to a proper plan to reform the system. He said:

I’m a Conservative and therefore Conservatives shouldn’t be raising taxes willy-nilly. That’s the last thing we want to be doing.

But what we want to do is actually see a plan. We can’t just raise tax without a plan to actually make fundamental changes and make things better.

It is simply gobsmacking that as we continue to struggle with the pandemic, the government’s priority is to push through plans to make it harder for everyone to vote. At a cost of up to £180m every decade, this is a costly attack on the right to vote, when more than two million people lack acceptable photo ID.

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