Politics

Boris Johnson to visit Labour’s heartlands to call for repeat of Brexit ‘roar’ to deliver election win


Boris Johnson will march into Labour’s heartlands on Monday, amid growing confidence that a repeat of the “roar” that helped deliver Brexit will carry him to a general election victory this week.

The prime minister will target Labour voters, including in Sunderland, which shocked the nation when 61 per cent of voters backed Leave in 2016, in one of the first results declared.

The decision to campaign in traditional Labour areas, including Grimsby, comes on the back of an exclusive poll for The Independent suggesting a Tory victory remains the likely outcome.

“It’s now been 1,264 days since Sunderland’s roar was heard on the night of 23 June 2016,” Mr Johnson will say.

Making the audacious promise to “make sure Sunderland’s voice will be heard in the corridors of Westminster and Whitehall like never before”, he will tell its voters they now have “three days to break the deadlock and avoid a hung parliament”.

With just days of campaigning left, Labour will promise a Budget to “end austerity” and “get investment flowing to neglected communities” within 100 days of taking office.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, will unveil “ready-to-go legislation” that could “stop Boris and stop Brexit”, as soon as parliament returns after the election.

Earlier, Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, said she could back Labour in a hung parliament, to secure a Final Say referendum, if Mr Corbyn agreed to stand down.

Mr Johnson endured a difficult day in Sunday interviews, admitting his claim of planning 50,000 extra NHS nurses is incorrect and that Brexit will bring some customs checks in the Irish Sea.

However, he was buoyed by a string of favourable polls, including the one for The Independent which gave the Tories a nine-point lead.

With the finishing point in sight, the prime minister will visit every English region and Wales in the coming days, to ram home the much-ridiculed claim that he can “get Brexit done” next month.

“Either we will have another hung parliament, with Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon conspiring to frustrate Brexit again,” Mr Johnson will say.

“Alternatively, we can have a Conservative majority government,” he will argue, adding: “Then we can move on.”

But John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, will seek to ram home that Labour is ready to move on quickly from Brexit to domestic priorities, with a quickfire Budget within 100 days.

It would also “begin the process of bringing key utilities into public ownership under democratic management” and of moving power out of London to the regions.

The party plans a National Investment Bank and regional development banks, charged with delivering a “Green industrial revolution” to tackle the climate emergency.

“When Labour puts money in your pockets, we will also put power back in your hands,” Mr McDonnell will say, at an event in London.

“In our first hundred days we will start the process of bringing water and energy into public ownership.

“We’ll set up boards to run them made up of you, the customer, and you, the worker, as well as representatives from local councils, metro mayors and others.”


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