Home Uncategorized Boris Johnson makes surprise late move to avert Tory wipeout

Boris Johnson makes surprise late move to avert Tory wipeout


Boris Johnson made an unexpected campaign appearance on Tuesday night to urge Conservative voters to deny Labour a landslide victory at the UK general election, a last throw of the dice by Rishi Sunak’s Tories to try to prevent huge losses that are expected at Thursday’s vote.
Making his first public appearance of the election campaign in an unscheduled speech in central London, the former premier said: “A Labour government prepares to use a sledgehammer majority to destroy so much of what we have achieved.”
Johnson, who is not a Tory candidate at the election, repeated Tory campaign attack lines claiming Labour leader Keir Starmer would use a “super-majority” to put up taxes and allow uncontrolled immigration, allegations the opposition party denies.He urged former Tory voters not to vote for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party, who he called “Kremlin crawlers” and “Putin-istas,” a reference to remarks the right-wing party’s leader made about admiring Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Labour is on course to win this week’s public vote with a large majority, an outcome that would end 14 years of Conservative rule in Britain. So far, 10 of 11 so-called MRP polls carried out during the campaign project the opposition party to take more seats than it did in Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.
The intervention will prove controversial ahead of the final day of campaigning on Wednesday, and will likely provoke criticism of Sunak from Starmer’s Labour Party for aligning the Tory campaign with his predecessor-but-one.
Johnson, who governed Britain from 2019 until his resignation after a series of scandals in 2022, remains a politically divisive figure. He won the 2019 general election with a large majority and retains backing among supporters of Brexit and some core Conservative voters — the sorts of people who Sunak is trying to convince to turn out Thursday.
Sunak has embraced a strategy of effectively conceding defeat and instead imploring typical Tory voters to go to the polls and back his party, rather than stay at home or vote for the right-wing Reform UK party led by Farage, another Brexit campaigner. A Labour government would have a “blank check” to do what it wants if it wins a majority in line with what opinion polls are suggesting, Sunak said at a series of campaign events earlier Tuesday.
However, Johnson’s involvement in the so-called Partygate scandal involving rule-breaking parties in Downing Street during the Covid pandemic, for which he and Sunak were both fined by the police, saw his popularity among the wider voting public crater. When he left office, he had a net personal approval rating of -53 percentage points with the pollster YouGov.
Johnson has taken a back-seat role during the Tory campaign, spending much of the last six weeks abroad on vacation. That’s been seen in part as due to his poor relationship with Sunak. Some allies of Johnson blame the current premier, who served in Johnson’s government as his chancellor of the exchequer, for his ouster, because Sunak’s resignation from Johnson’s Cabinet is widely seen as precipitating his downfall.
Until Tuesday night, Johnson’s campaign activity had been limited to posting social media endorsements of some Conservative candidates, and writing columns attacking the Labour Party in the Daily Mail newspaper.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here