Boris Johnson declared that “a global pandemic was in no one’s manifesto”, as he defended the government breaking a manifesto pledge to tackle the NHS backlog and fund social care.

In newly unveiled plans to overhaul social care, the prime minister announced a new 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy, funded by National Insurance Contributions. Johnson added that the new levy would be “hypothecated into law”.

In response, Labour’s leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed that “the Tories can never again claim to be the party of low tax.”

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