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A Johnson U-turn on the NHS surcharge for overseas NHS workers would be a big win for Starmer

May 21st, 2020

Starmer has indicated that he’ll table an amendment to the Immigration bill which would force a a Commons vote on the issue.

In the post linked to by Katy Balls in her Tweet she noted:

“Behind the scenes, the number of would-be rebels is growing – they are not the usual suspects. ‘There’s a big sense of momentum,’ says one MP who is considering their position. ‘The government need to move pretty quickly’. Among those expressing concerns are several of the new intake of 2019 MPs who worry the current position goes against the public mood. Not helping matters is the fact there are a chunk of MPs already annoyed with the government on several issues – with 16 Tory MPs rebelling yesterday to back an amendment tabled by Labour’s Harriet Harman against Bernard Jenkin, No. 10’s preferred candidate, becoming the chair of the Liaison Committee.”

Johnson’s response on this came at yesterday’ PMQs after Starmer switched his line of questioning after what appeared to be a score draw on the earlier points. It appeared that Johnson was making it up on the spot in a desire not to give in to Starmer.

If it turns out that there is a concession to stave off a rebellion that will be lauded as a huge win for the Labour leader.

With the benefit of hindsight this always was a vulnerability for the government given the national feelings about the NHS.

Mike Smithson