UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told ITV's This Morning programme on Tuesday that there is a “new conspiracy theory” after his party disclosed leaked documents pertaining to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s trade talks with Washington.
“I held a dossier up because it had been released, and I'd seen it, and at no stage until today when this new conspiracy theory arose, has anyone challenged the veracity of that document,” he said.
He suggested that the dossier is unlikely a fake, adding, “if the document is not accurate then why is it it's been out there all this time, no minister has claimed it's inaccurate, no government has, and in reality the minutes are there of meetings”.
The statement comes after Corbyn said last week that the Labour Party had obtained official documents indicating the US’ demands related to the National Health Service (NHS) in light of the London-Washington trade talks.
“The uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson’s denials in absolute tatters. We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed”, Corbyn asserted.
He promised that Labour "will never use the NHS as a bargaining chip" during trade talks with the US.
The Tories responded by insisting that the documents were nothing but readouts from meetings of the UK-US trade and investment working group and that they had already been online for two months.
The Conservatives blamed Corbyn for using the documents to divert public attention from the issue of antisemitism in Labour Party ranks.
Johnson, for his part, slammed Labour’s claims as “total nonsense”, adding that he had given a "cast-iron guarantee" that the NHS would not on the table in any discussions with the US over a deal.
US-UK Trade Talks
Last month, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said that during Johnson’s phone conversation with US President Donald Trump at the time, they agreed to boost ties between the two countries through a strong bilateral free trade deal.
“The two leaders again reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the Special Relationship through a robust bilateral free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union,” Deere noted.
In late July, US President Donald Trump told reporters that he had recently spoke with then newly-appointed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and that they were are already working on a free trade agreement between the two countries.
The latest developments come in the run-up to the 12 December snap general election in the UK that was endorsed by Johnson and his Conservative Party after struggling to get support for his Brexit deal in Parliament. The UK is currently scheduled to exit from the EU on 31 January 2020 after Brussels approved a third Brexit extension.