We know Boris Johnson speaks with forked tongue. So when the PM says the NHS is not for sale, he’s probably got his fingers crossed behind his back.

Tonight we revealed how a US healthcare firm that Donald Trump favours has won a £7million contract to help the NHS identify “expensive” patients.

For expensive, read the sickest, most ­helpless and most vulnerable.

The very people the NHS was created to look after because no one else would.

And the very people US health ­insurance is loath to provide for.

Although the official explanation is that this will help NHS managers handle resources more efficiently, it raises the spectre of ­treatment rationing.

Stephen Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group (left, second from bottom) meets with Trump and Vice President Pence before a meeting with health insurance executives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House February 27, 2017

Which is, of course, exactly what private companies want when the pursuit of profit overrides the provision of costly care.

If Mr Johnson is to make Brexit work, then he must do a trade deal with Donald Trump. In this, the US President holds most of the cards.

If Mr Trump, no great respecter of the truth himself, insists that the NHS must form part of that arrangement or else there will be no deal, the PM will be backed into a corner. And the suspicion must be that he will cave in.

Mr Johnson is committed to giving the NHS an extra £34billion. And because he knows
his word is not trusted, he will put that settlement into law.

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He should do the same with his pledge not to sell out the health service to America.

Then we might begin to believe him.

Ban barbarity

We’re right behind Ricky Gervais on this one.

The star says Waveney Harriers hunters in Suffolk should be prosecuted after footage emerged of their dogs savaging a muntjac deer.

Ricky Gervais slammed cruel hunters

Their excuse for this barbarity was the same as it always is – they were on a legal drag hunt and the hounds were distracted.

We would go further than Ricky.

Drag hunting frequently goes wrong and animals which are meant to be protected by the law end up suffering.

That means the law needs changing. So that hunts which persistently get out of hand are banned outright.

Truth’s at steak

We might have guessed it. A new survey shows that one in 10 of us pretends not to eat meat when we do.

And that rises to more than one in five in the 18 to 24 age group.

The truth is at steak…

This is thought to be because they are ­influenced by vegans such as Miley Cyrus.

But don’t beat yourself up about telling the odd porky.

As Miley sang, “Nobody’s perfect”.





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