BORIS Johnson has been accused of having his “greedy eyes” on Scotland’s NHS after he appeared to threaten the Scottish Government’s powers over it yesterday.

Asked about the NHS’s performance in Scotland by Berwickshire MP John Lamont, the Prime Minister said if investment and waiting times did not improve the SNP “will forfeit all right to manage” it.

During PMQs, the Scottish Tory MP: “In Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are letting down our wonderful NHS staff and the patients they look after. Waiting time targets have been missed, capital investment has been slashed and there’s a £1 billion maintenance backlog. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that rather than obsessing about independence referendums Nicola Sturgeon should end her neglect of Scotland’s NHS?”

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The Prime Minister responded: “Mr Speaker I congratulate my honourable friend on everything that he does for his constituency in Berwickshire and he is absolutely right. That is why – as I said earlier – that is why they rant, to use his own word, so incessantly about independence. Because they wish to distract – they wish to dead cat as the saying goes – from the lamentable failures of the SNP Government in Scotland and he’s entirely right. If this goes on I think the SNP will forfeit all right to manage the NHS in Scotland.”

Health is a devolved matter in Scotland and therefore all decisions relating to NHS Scotland are made in Holyrood.

There was backlash online immediately after the Tory leader made the comments.

SNP MSP James Dornan tweeted: “Come on folks, you know it makes sense. If Johnson gets back he made it quite clear today he has his greedy eyes on our Scottish NHS. #RegisterToVote #VoteSNP”

Johnson’s comments came after Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the UK Health Secretary's claims over the Tories’ plans for the NHS.

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Matt Hancock had tweeted a video of himself insisting the health service “is off the table in trade talks”.

The video was accompanied by the words: “How many times do I have to say this? The NHS. Is. Not. For. Sale.”

The First Minister then reposted the clip, responding with: “How many times do we have to say this? We. Do. Not. Believe. You.”

Earlier this week a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary revealed that senior British civil servants had met with representatives from US companies to discuss the NHS in trade negotiations.

Despite Cabinet members insisting the health service would not be on the table in post-Brexit trade talks, sources told Dispatches that a deal remained open in these meetings.

A total of six formal discussions have taken place with the US trade officials, the source said. The most recent is thought to have happened after Johnson became PM.