Health Secretary Matt Hancock has taken to the stage at the Conservative Party conference to lay out plans to build 40 new hospitals over the next decade.
In what he called the “biggest programme in a generation”, Mr Hancock said: “We’re not just going to fix the roof, we’re going to build you a whole new hospital.”
The MP for West Suffolk was addressing fellow members at the party’s annual conference in Manchester.
The event went ahead despite business continuing as usual in Westminster after MPs rejected a bid for a three-day parliamentary recess to allow for the conference.
Mr Hancock promised £2.7 billion for the first six state-of-the-art hospitals and said there is the "go-ahead" for immediate funding for the next 34, “all in all a £13 billion plan over the next decade,” he added.
Mr Hancock refused to comment further on the allegations that the Prime Minister squeezed the thigh of journalist Charlotte Edwardes in 1999.
Over the weekend the MP said of Ms Edwardes: “I entirely trust what she has to say”.
Boris Johnson has publicly denied the claim, telling reporters: “No, and I think what the public want to hear is about what we are doing to level up and unite the country.”
Mr Johnson will not return to London for Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and will instead send Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in for him while he remains at the conference.