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The Health Secretary has accused Keir Starmer of ‘not keeping up with the news’ and said that free movement would be back on the table if the UK’s Brexit deal was renegotiated.

Victoria Atkins also told voters, 'if you can afford Labour, I'm very pleased for you. But for the rest of us, we need to start saving' should Labour win.

Speaking on GB News Victoria Atkins said: “This isn't a by-election. It's not a fanciful exercise. This is who will govern our country over the next five years at a time when we know the world is an increasingly dangerous place.

“And crucially, Rishi has set out our plans for the future, including on taxation, including on the economy, including on immigration.

“In the debate Sir Keir Starmer could not answer questions when they were put to him. He was asked nine times what he will do to tackle immigration. He had no answer. And that, I'm afraid, shows that the mask is beginning to slip.

“Labour, in this election campaign, have relied on a lack of scrutiny, being vague about their promises. So if you can afford Labour, I'm very pleased for you. But for the rest of us, we need to start saving if, God forbid, there's a Labour government.

“We believe fundamentally the choices that we have to make next Thursday is between the Conservatives that want to lower our taxes, want to lower immigration but we have plans in place to do so. We want a bright future for our NHS. I'm working flat out on that.

“But with the Labour Party they have produced a 135 Page manifesto that was a wonderful exercise in vagueness.

“We genuinely believe this choice on Thursday is not a fanciful exercise. This will determine the future of our country, the direction of our country, and our government and the Conservatives have a plan for our future in a way that Labour, the cracks are beginning to show now.”

On the NHS junior doctors’ strike, Victoria Atkins said: “I came in in November and since then, I've sorted agreements with consultants and with specialty doctors. The last group of doctors remaining are junior doctors. They walk out on me.

“Labour say, ‘we'll get into the room.’ I've been in the room with the junior doctors committee repeatedly, and they walk out. We know that what they're asking for is unreasonable for the taxpayer, it will cost £3 billion. How is Labour going to fund that if they're going to meet that 35 per cent pay rise that junior doctors are wanting?

“I’ve said to the junior doctors’ committee that if they call off the strikes, if they put patients first rather than their pay, then I will get straight back round the negotiating table with them once the election is over."

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