NICOLA Sturgeon has clashed with the chair of the Brexit party over the future of the NHS.

The First Minister got under Richard Tice’s skin in a seven-way debate on the BBC.

It followed Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey insisting that, despite his denials, Boris Johnson would put the NHS on the table in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

Asked about a Labour email claiming that people might face a five figure bill for cancer treatment or pay to give birth, she said: “Certainly, if we privatise our NHS, that could be the direction of travel.”

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Tory Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the privatisation claim was “totally and utterly ridiculous”, while Mr Tice told her to “stop scaremongering”.

At the end of the 90-minute debate, Mr Tice reacted furiously when Sturgeon needled him further on the issue.

In answer to a question about what he would say to Donald Trump if they had 30 seconds with him on his UK visit next week, Mr Tice said: “Let’s get a quick trade deal done.”

To audience laughter, Ms Sturgeon added: “‘And here’s our NHS,’ is what he would say.”

Mr Tice fumed: “Oh nonsense! Stop this scaremongering. It’s pathetic! Just lying to the British people continually.”

When Ms Sturgeon shot back “Oh I think you’ve got form on that”, Mr Tice was left staring at her open-mouthed in disdain.

“Extraordinary,” he muttered.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price got the biggest cheer from the audience by saying he would tell the US President: “Resign and take Boris with you.”

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “Tonight we saw another hugely impressive performance by Nicola Sturgeon – making the clear case that Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands so that we can build a fairer, more prosperous country. 

“She completely exposed Boris Johnson’s plans - with the Tory representative repeatedly refusing to rule out a No Deal Brexit, despite the absolutely catastrophic effects that would have on communities and businesses in Scotland, and across the UK. 

“There is no such thing as a good Brexit, with all forms of crashing out of the EU leaving us poorer and worse off.”

Tory party chair James Cleverly said: “This debate was a clear demonstration of the gridlock and delay the country would face under a Corbyn government propped up by Nicola Sturgeon's SNP and the Liberal Democrats.

“Whether you voted leave or remain, it’s time to move forward. Under Corbyn, we’d be stuck in neutral and nothing would change, with the British people subjected to higher taxes, fewer jobs, more debt and the chaos of two more referendums.”