Can Donald Trump derail Boris Johnson’s bid for power?

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Tories worry that Trump will go off script — the US president can’t be trusted to stop himself weighing in with ill-judged comments, an official says

US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold a meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, September 24 2019. Picture: AFP/ SAUL LOEB

Despite denials from the Conservatives that the NHS would be on the chopping block, it’s a potent narrative with voters — one that has troubled Johnson’s senior team since long before the election campaign started. And now Trump will materialise on British soil just 10 days before the election. Following the inevitable outcry, Trump issued a clarification, saying the NHS was not something he’d be seeking to exploit. But the damage had been done.

Yet Tory advisers were aghast. By mentioning the NHS again, even in a denial, the president ensured it stayed prominent in the public consciousness.

 

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