Burger King seized on pre-election hype with a tongue-in-cheek campaign bus parked outside Westminster this morning.
The fast food chain took an ad out on an old Routemaster bus, saying “Another whopper on the side of a bus. Must be an election”.
The political swipe pokes fun at the infamous Brexit battlebus, which claimed Britain sends “£350 million a week” to the EU, money which could be spent funding our NHS.
According to data subsequently published by the Office for National Statistics the true number is more like £181 million, and there has been scant evidence of that reclaimed money going to the health service.
The Prime Minister was forced to conceded that the Conservative manifesto pledge for “50,000 more nurses” actually only involves recruiting 31,000 new staff last week.
During an LBC phone-in, Johnson was challenged on nursing numbers by host Nick Ferrari and caller Janet from Sunderland, a nurse close to retirement.
Mr Johnson said: “I do understand the controversy around this. There are 19,000 that are currently in nursing at the moment… and we thank them very much.”
He added: “The risk is they will leave the profession and we’re putting in the funds to make sure that they stay but there a further 31,000 that we wish to recruit.”
Mr Ferrari said: “You’ve misrepresented the figures… they’re not new are they?”
Mr Johnson said: “No, that’s correct… what I said is more nurses.”
Government claims to be building 40 new hospitals have also come under challenge after it emerged that funding was in place for only six.
Johnson won headlines with his claim that he was providing “additional funding for 40 new hospitals to be built over the next decade”.
But health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that while some £2.7 billion has been allocated to six hospital trusts for building projects for completion by 2025, the other 34 projects for delivery by 2030 have so far been promised just £100 million of “seed funding”.