Senior Conservatives are beginning to break ranks over the government’s refusal to exempt migrant healthcare staff from a £400 annual NHS surcharge for overseas workers.
Opposition parties have called for the charge, which is due to rise to £624 from October, to be scrapped for all NHS and care workers, but the government has resisted. Today, William Wragg, chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, became the first Tory MP to back those calls, while Chris Patten, the former Conservative party chairman, told Radio 5 Live that making migrant care workers pay the surcharge was “immoral”. The BBC reports that unease is brewing among Tory MPs.
In other news, the Scottish government has unveiled its “road map” for lifting lockdown, which includes plans to allow two households to meet up outside in small groups from 28 May, including in gardens. And in England, reports suggest the government will begin trialling its contact tracing system in ten local authorities.