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POST TIME: 10 December, 2019 11:00:16 PM
Electioneering peaks as UK polls tomorrow
BBC, London

Electioneering peaks as UK polls tomorrow

Labour claims NHS under-funding is putting patients at risk and the Tories are warning about a hung parliament, as the election enters its final stretch. With two days to go, Labour is pledging a "relentless focus" on the health service if it wins power. Boris Johnson will try to keep the focus on Brexit and the "danger" of another inconclusive result. In a speech later, the PM will pledge that the Tories would "smash through the gridlock" if given a majority. The Conservatives are also attacking Labour over the costs of delivering and running new government agencies promised in the party's manifesto. It comes after Mr Johnson faced criticism on Monday over his response to an image of a sick four-year-old boy who had to sleep on the floor of a hospital.

In other election developments:

*    Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has defended Mr Johnson's response to the photograph, saying the prime minister apologised to the family

*    Former Labour peer Lord Sugar has launched an attack on Jeremy Corbyn and urged voters to elect a Tory government in an article for The Sun

*    In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Corbyn has stood by his party's strategy of focusing on winning Tory-held seats, amid concerns that Labour candidates defending seats have been left exposed

*    Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson will focus on the cost to government of Brexit in a speech

*    The SNP is proposing legislation to protect the NHS in Scotland from "exploitative" trade deals

*    Nicola Sturgeon and other Scottish leaders will take part in a debate on BBC Scotland later

*    The Green Party is focusing on its pledge to cancel student

debt built up since 2012. Labour says reports produced by NHS trusts in England this month show a health service “in crisis and on the brink”.

The party says an analysis it has conducted of more than 120 NHS trust board papers identified hundreds of risks to patient safety classed as “catastrophic” or “extreme”.

The majority were linked to spending, staff shortages or failures of privatisation, the party said. It promised that a Labour government would conduct an immediate audit of the risks revealed.

The BBC’s Reality Check team said the quotes from the NHS boards were genuine but did not give the nationwide picture, which was more mixed.

Labour said the backlog of maintenance in the NHS is £6.5bn, of which £1.1bn is for “high-risk” repairs.