Trump and May dodge row over NHS in latest talks

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Theresa May has spoken to Donald Trump about a new data-sharing law – but did not raise the US President’s attack on the NHS.

The two leaders talked about a new US law allowing American authorities to access data held overseas in order to tackle crime and terrorism.

But they did not discuss Mr Trump’s Twitter outburst against the NHS in which he described the British health system as “going broke and not working”.

Asked if the issue came up during the telephone call, Downing Street said: “It did not.”

Downing Street said Mrs May stressed the “great importance” of the new data law, which will also enable reciprocal deals to allow police in the UK to access information across the Atlantic.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to President Trump this evening.

“They discussed the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (Cloud) Act, due to be considered by the US Senate later this month.

“The act covers how the US can access data stored in another country, when it is needed to prosecute serious crime or to disrupt terrorism.

“It will also authorise the US attorney general to enter into agreements with like-minded allies like the UK to allow reciprocal compliance with US and foreign court orders.

“With it, law enforcement officials in the US and the UK will be empowered to investigate their citizens suspected of terrorism and serious crimes like murder, human trafficking, and the sexual abuse of children regardless of where the suspect’s email or messages happen to be stored.

“The Prime Minister stressed the great importance of the legislation to the UK authorities in investigating criminal and terrorist activity in the UK.

“The Prime Minister and President Trump agreed the passage of the act through the US legislative system was vital for our collective security.”

On Tuesday, Downing Street backed Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt in an extraordinary Twitter row with the president.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister was “proud” of the NHS and its funding was “at a record high”.

Mr Hunt hit back by attacking the US system which leaves millions without adequate health cover.

The US president said “thousands of people are marching” in the UK because of concerns about the state of the NHS.

Mr Trump made the attack as he targeted Democrats pushing for a British-style universal health system in the US.

Mr Hunt responded with a tweet of his own, saying no-one protesting about the state of the NHS wanted a US-style system.

“NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage – where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance,” he said.

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