UK’s Johnson pledges $2.2B more to public health system

International

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 file photo, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the first meeting of the National Policing Board at the Home Office in London. Johnson says he will pump an additional 1.8 billion pounds into the National Health Service amid speculation the newly minted leader is preparing for an election to bolster his razor-thin majority in Parliament and increase support for his Brexit plans. James Cleverly, chairman of Johnson’s Conservative Party, says on Sunday, Aug. 4 the party won’t “initiate a general election.’’ (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will pump an additional 1.8 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) into the National Health Service, feeding speculation he wants an early election to bolster his one-seat majority in Parliament and support for his Brexit plans.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly says the ruling party that made Johnson its leader and prime minister last month won’t “initiate a general election.”

Cleverly told Sky News on Sunday that Johnson made “a number of explicit commitments” when he campaigned to become the Conservatives’ leader “and he is setting about delivering on those commitments.”

He says fulfilling a series of recent spending pledges is possible because of Britain’s growing economy.

Johnson vows to take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a withdrawal deal.

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