Three-quarters of suspected cancer patients will be diagnosed or have the disease ruled out within 28 days, under “tough” new NHS targets announced by Boris Johnson today, in an attempt to tackle the colossal backlog of patients. On a joint visit to Maidstone Hospital with the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, the PM said the backlog was a “massive priority” for his government. He added: “We are now working with the NHS to set some tough targets so that we are able to deliver for the patient and also for the taxpayer.” The two men put on a show of unity, but the visit was an awkward one. Johnson was asked whether he had confidence in the Chancellor’s loyalty after Sunak chose not to defend Johnson’s accusation that Sir Keir Starmer had failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile. Johnson said he “absolutely” did not doubt the Chancellor’s loyalty. Johnson had hoped to unveil the full “elective recovery plan” to tackle waiting lists with great fanfare today. But the Treasury blocked its publication because of an ongoing dispute with NHS England about just how tough the targets should be.