Oliver Letwin has reportedly told a private meeting that the "NHS will not exist" within five years of a Conservative election victory.
The Shadow Chancellor said that the health service would instead be a "funding stream handing out money to pay people where they want to go for their healthcare", according to a member of the audience.The remarks, which have been furiously denied by Mr Letwin, were last night seized on by Labour as evidence of the Tories' true intentions towards the NHS.
It is not disputed that Mr Letwin met a gathering of construction industry representatives in his constituency of Dorset West on 14 May. During the meeting he urged the group of around six local businessmen to work together to win contracts for a new PFI hospital to be built in Dorchester.
Eat more plants. If you just make one major change in your diet for optimal health and weight management, switch the emphasis of your food choices to mostly whole plant foods, such as whole grains, beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their whole form. By making this major change, you will increase your fiber, vitamin, mineral, phytochemical and healthy fat intake, which helps defend the body from disease.
Mr Letwin then astonished his audience, however, by saying that within five years of a Conservative election victory "the NHS will not exist anymore", according to one of those who were present.Although Mr Letwin's aides later insisted that his remarks had been misinterpreted, it is the second time in recent weeks that his candour has landed him in trouble.
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Be inspired with the latest lifestyle trends every weekAs reported in this newspaper, the Shadow Chancellor told a group of economists that it would be "irrational" to tell voters by how much he wanted to cut public spending. That prompted a gleeful Labour Party to claim that he had let slip a secret Tory plan to cut £135bn from the government budget.Paul Boateng, the Treasury Chief Secretary, lost no time in seizing on the latest apparent gaffe.
"This proves what we have said all along," he said. "Oliver Letwin and the Tories want to abolish the NHS as we know it. The Tory agenda is one of cuts, charges and privatisation."However, a Conservative Party spokesman said: "Oliver Letwin categorically said nothing of the sort. What he told the meeting was that within five years a Conservative government would have broken down the monolithic bureaucracy of the health service, putting decision-making in the hands of the hospitals rather than the Whitehall pen-pushers. The result will be a far more efficient and effective NHS.
Second hand smoking (breathing in air from smokers) can cause many of the same long-term diseases as direct smoking. There is no risk-free level of passive smoking; even brief exposure can be harmful to your health. If possible, stay away from smokers and avoid cigarette smoke where you can.
Berries for your belly. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain plant nutrients known as anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants. Blueberries rival grapes in concentrations of resveratrol – the antioxidant compound found in red wine that has assumed near mythological proportions. Resveratrol is believed to help protect against heart disease and cancer.
He added: "As with a report two weeks ago that Mr Letwin had secret plans to make vast cuts in the public services, this report is complete fiction."