Dramatic intervention by senior health service bosses comes ahead of Johnson and Corbyn’s first TV debate

8.00am GMT

The justice secretary, Robert Buckland, appeared to rule out giving MPs a free vote on overturning the foxhunting ban if the Conservatives win a majority at the general election.

The controversial offer made by the former prime minister Theresa May in the 2017 Tory manifesto was dropped swiftly after her poor performance at the election. Buckland told Sky News he thought it was unlikely Boris Johnson would revive the controversial issue.

I don’t see a return to that at all. I think the agenda has moved on. We are now talking in our own policies about strong animal welfare measures. We are cracking down on issues like live transport. We are dealing with trophy hunting, the keeping of primates as pets.

7.45am GMT

The Lib Dem justice spokesman, Dr Phillip Lee, is also doing the media rounds this morning. He told the Today programme the staffing crisis in the NHS will get worse if Brexit goes ahead (quotes from PA Media).

We can see that there is a clear staffing crisis in the NHS and this is being exacerbated by the prospect of Brexit. In my own professional experience I meet many doctors over the years who are trained in the EU and indeed nursing staff and I think if we proceed with Brexit, the staffing crisis will get worse.

So by investing extra money, by remaining within the EU, Liberal Democrats will protect the NHS.

The fact that we’re on 20 MPs and to get to 326 is quite a target, yes. We will get to the other side of the election and if the Conservatives haven’t got a majority then discussions will take place, but we will take each issue as it comes and vote accordingly and we will not be putting Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 …

We do have a choice not to put either of the two prime ministers into No 10, which is why we think that there should be more of an offer put to the public in terms of who should be prime minister.

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