Boris Johnson comes in like a wrecking ball! PM is let loose in a ‘Get Brexit Done’ JCB and smashes through a wall marked ‘gridlock’ as he tries to regain momentum – after polls show he could face ANOTHER hung parliament
- New poll shows the Tories’ lead over the Labour Party is now seven points with two days until the election
- Survey puts Tories on 43 per cent and Labour on 36 per cent – those numbers could cause hung Parliament
- Boris Johnson today tried to get the Conservative campaign back on track after disastrous day yesterday
- PM visited JCB factory in Staffordshire where he drove Brexit-themed digger through a wall marked ‘gridlock’
- Tory strategists fear Labour may not need to gain single seat to turf the Prime Minister out of Downing Street
Boris Johnson today signalled his intention to bulldoze his political opponents at the general election on Thursday as he drove a Brexit-themed JCB digger through a wall emblazoned with the word ‘gridlock’.
The Prime Minister took the election battle to Staffordshire this afternoon as he visited a JCB factory in Uttoxeter.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly vowed during the election campaign to replace the old parliament with one that can finally agree a Brexit deal and take the UK out of the European Union.
Today he used the powerful visual metaphor of a piece of heavy machinery emblazoned with his ‘Get Brexit Done’ mantra – and with a Union flag paint job – crashing through a Styrofoam wall to hammer home his key message to voters.
Mr Johnson then used a speech at the factory to urge voters to back the Tories on Thursday as he warned a Labour government would be an ‘economic disaster for this country’.
A pumped up Mr Johnson launched a sustained attack on Jeremy Corbyn as he labelled the Labour leader’s Brexit policy of negotiating a new divorce deal with Brussels without a commitment to then back it at a proposed second referendum as ‘ludicrous’.
Mr Johnson said the UK has ‘only got 48 hours to get this thing done’ and described the election as a ‘momentous occasion for this country’.
There are now just two days left until the UK goes to the ballot box and the Prime Minister is trying to re-energise the Tory campaign after an opinion poll showed his hopes of winning a majority are hanging in the balance with the Conservative lead over Labour down to seven points.
The Savanta ComRes survey, conducted between December 6-8, puts the Tories on 43 per cent and Labour on 36 per cent.
If such numbers were replicated on polling day it could lead to a hung parliament, with the Electoral Calculus prediction website suggesting it would leave the Conservatives a handful of seats short of a majority.
Tory strategists are concerned Labour may not need to gain a single seat to oust Mr Johnson with the party’s private polling showing that losing just 12 constituencies to the SNP and Lib Dems could put Mr Corbyn in Number 10.
Boris Johnson today tried to get the Tory election campaign back on track as he visited a JCB factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
Mr Johnson got behind the wheel of a Brexit-themed JCB as he drove through a wall emblazoned with the word ‘gridlock’
Mr Johnson appeared to be in good spirits during the campaign stop despite opinion polls suggesting that the race for Number 10 is getting tighter
A new SavantaComRes poll gives the Tories a seven point lead over Labour. It puts the Tories on 43 per cent and Labour on 36 per cent. If such a result is replicated at the election on Thursday it could result in a hung Parliament
Mr Johnson today tried to get his campaign back on track after a disastrous day for the Tories yesterday which saw the PM embroiled in a damaging row over the treatment of a sick four-year-old boy who was photographed lying on the floor of Leeds General Infirmary.
The PM was confronted with the widely-publicised picture of Jack Williment-Barr by ITV reporter Joe Pike and initially refused to look at it as he put the interviewer’s phone in his pocket before backing down.
The hospital row then worsened as the Tories wrongly accused a Labour activist of punching Matt Hancock’s adviser as the Health Secretary left the hospital in question after trying to defuse the row. A video of the altercation showed the aide had walked into the protestor’s hand.
Mr Johnson then published a new Tory party political broadcast on his Twitter page at 9.36pm last night in a move which appeared to be designed to force the election campaign focus away from the NHS and back onto the PM’s preferred battleground of Brexit.
Remain campaigner Hugh Grant accuses the Tories of using Russian money to fund Boris Johnson’s parody of his hit Love Actually
Hugh Grant has accused the Conservative Party of using Russian money to fund Boris Johnson’s campaign video which parodies a scene from Love Actually.
The 59-year-old actor has been campaigning for different parties in seven seats with the aim of depriving the Tories of a majority at the general election.
And he has now responded to the new campaign video from the Conservatives in which the Prime Minister imitates a scene from the 2003 film Love Actually.
Labour has repeatedly accused the Conservatives of improperly taking money from Russian tycoons who are UK citizens – a charge the party vehemently denies – and has also accused Mr Johnson of covering up a report on Russian interference in UK elections.
The new advert sees Mr Johnson silently holding up Brexit-themed messages to a woman at her front door after pretending to be carol singers.
Mr Grant, who starred in the hit Christmas film, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I thought it was quite well done, very high production values.
‘But clearly the Conservative Party have an awful lot of money. Maybe that’s where the rubles went.
‘But I did notice that one of the cards from the original film that he didn’t hold up was the one where Andrew Lincoln held up a card saying, “Because at Christmas you tell the truth”.
‘And I just wonder if the spin doctors in the Tory Party thought that was a card that wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands.’
In the video Mr Johnson recreates a famous scene from the film Love Actually as he knocks on a member of the public’s door and uses a slideshow of cards with handwritten messages on to hammer home his core election mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’.
The timing of the publication of the ‘Brexit, actually’ video raised eyebrows because it came at the end of a torrid day for the Tories and with the Conservative Party due to broadcast the election advert at 6.55pm on the BBC this evening.
Tory sources denied the advert had been rushed out as they said it was first broadcast by BBC Wales yesterday evening before it was published by Mr Johnson.
Conservative strategists are worried that Mr Johnson’s position as the clear frontrunner in the race for Number 10 could make his supporters complacent.
The Tories fear that could result in Conservative voters failing to turn out to vote on Thursday.
As a result, the party is cranking up its ‘fight for every vote’ and is warning the election is tighter than people think.
The Conservatives are also blitzing voters with their ‘Get Brexit Done’ slogans in the final campaign sprint before polling day.
Urging viewers to ‘vote Conservative actually’ in the Tory advert published last night, Mr Johnson unveils placards that read: ‘Your vote has never been more important. The other guy could win.
‘So you have a choice to make. Between a working majority.
‘Or another gridlocked hung parliament.’
Labour has been gradually eating into Mr Johnson’s poll lead in recent days but it looks like it is too little too late for Mr Corbyn in terms of his chances of victory.
However, the Labour leader could yet deprive Mr Johnson of a majority.
Campaign gurus in Conservative HQ have said Mr Corbyn’s prospects of becoming prime minister have been ‘seriously underestimated’.
A leaked memo between Tory pollster Michael Brooks and chief strategist Isaac Levido seen by the Daily Telegraph said ‘as little as a 1 to 2 per cent movement in the current vote in a handful of seats’ could result in a hung parliament.
Mr Brooks goes on to caution that a complacent belief that a Conservative victory is in the bag poses a ‘major risk’ to the party maintaining its grip on government.
Although Mr Corbyn’s chances of clinching a majority himself appear to be wafer-thin, it is feared a coordinated and highly-effective tactical voting operation could deprive Mr Johnson of an overall victory and lead to a coalition of Remain parties coalescing around the Labour leader.
The woman is relaxing on the sofa with her partner when the doorbell goes in the unconventional election broadcast
A Conservative election broadcast which aired in Wales tonight starred the Prime Minister as one of the movie’s hopeless romantics who uses a slideshow of placards to tell a woman he loves her
The skit opens with Boris telling the woman to pretend it’s carol singers at the door
Key point: The PM insists Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour could still gain power if tactical voting isn’t taken sufficiently seriously
Jeremy Corbyn rejects claims of using the NHS as a ‘political football’
Jeremy Corbyn defended himself from accusations that he was using the NHS as a political football today as the row over care continued to spark fury.
The Labour leader insisted that funding of the health service was a ‘serious issue, it’s a political issue’ after he clashed with Boris Johnson over the care of a small boy.
A photograph widely circulated on social media showed Jack Williment-Barr, four, lying on a pile of coats to keep warm while he waited for a bed for treatment for suspected pneumonia at Leeds General Infirmary.
Questioned by ITV News yesterday, Mr Johnson initially refused to look at the photo of Jack on the reporter’s phone before taking the phone and putting it in his pocket.
Labour has made the future of the NHS at the heart of its campaign ahead of the election on Thursday, claiming it as risk after Brexit as the UK needs a trade deal with the United States.
Asked about accusations he was using the NHS as a political football on BBC Breakfast he said: ‘It’s an example of what’s happening in our NHS. And it is obviously awful for that little boy and the family, the way they were treated.’
Pro-EU campaigners have wargamed that it would only take 40,000 voters scattered across roughly 30 marginal seats to vote tactically to return a hung parliament, paving the way for Mr Corbyn to potentially take power.
Polling suggests that more voters than ever before are prepared to vote tactically in this election, which the Conservatives worry could claim some large party scalps such as ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith and one-time Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, whose chief rivals have been bolstered by Remain candidates standing aside.
In a bid to counter ‘TnT’ – tactical voting and turnout complacency concerns – Mr Johnson’s Love Actually-themed broadcast underscored the possibility of a Labour election upset.
Clutching a pile of billboards and a stereo playing carols, he emulated the famous scene between Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightly.
One by one he turned over the cards – which each only had a few words on – addressed to a woman he was trying to woo from across the threshold.
They read: ‘With any luck, by next year. We’ll have Brexit done. If Parliament doesn’t block it again. And we can move on.
‘But for now let me say. Your vote has never been more important. The other guy could win.
‘So you have a choice to make. Between a working majority. Or another gridlocked hung parliament. Arguing about Brexit. Until I look like this.’
In the 2003 rom-com Andrew Lincoln tells Keira Knightly he loves her over the threshold of her home while her boyfriend is inside
Jeremy Corbyn also shared his own online video in which he is filmed reading out ‘mean tweets’ which people have posted insulting him
Mr Corbyn, pictured during an appearance on BBC Breakfast this morning, rejected accusations of Labour using the NHS as a ‘political football’
He then showed a picture of a scruffy blonde sheepdog which prompted a snort of laughter from the redhead woman.
Mr Johnson continued: ‘It’s closer than you think. We only need nine more seats to get an election. And on 12th December. Your vote will make all the difference. Merry Christmas.’
Love Actually is widely regarded as one of the nation’s favourite Christmas films and is often re-watched by families on December 25.
Boris Johnson plans to wild departmental axe
Boris Johnson could abolish two government departments in a major shake-up if he wins the election, it was reported today.
The PM plans to fold the Department for International development into the Foreign Office, the Financial Times claims.
And the Department for Exiting the European Union could become part of the Department for International Trade once Brexit occurs.
But the star of the 2003 rom-com, Hugh Grant, who plays the prime minister, is an active Remain activist and has been leafleting with pro-EU Lib Dem and Labour candidates.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn published his own new social media video last night as he was filmed reading out ‘mean tweets’ which had been directed at him on Twitter.
Sitting in front of a roaring fire, Mr Corbyn read out a series of rude messages including one which said: ‘I’ll bet Jeremy Corbyn will be glad when this election is over so he can go back to wearing his commie hat.’
The latest Conservative broadcast asking people to ‘vote Conservative actually’ comes after Mr Johnson deployed another film reference to steer people away from Labour.
He said voters should swing behind the Tories to avoid waking up on Friday the 13th to see the ‘Nightmare on Downing Street’ of Mr Corbyn in charge.
Although Labour is closing the poll gap, Mr Johnson is still the election frontrunner but the Conservatives hope that does not lure their supporters into a false sense of security that he is certain to win.
Boris Johnson poses holding a cod during a general election campaign visit to Grimsby Fish Market as he cranks up his campaigning
Tory private polling reveals a swing of just 12 constituencies to the SNP and Lib Dems could deprive them of a majority and allow Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in Bristol on Monday) to springboard himself into Number 10 with the support of minor parties
The PM (pictured during a visit to Gardiner Bros in Hardwicke) will say on Tuesday will warn there is a ‘clear and present’ danger of another hung parliament if voters do not back the Conservatives
And in the first December ballot since 1923, they are pinning their hopes on their elderly voters flocking to polling stations in what may be grim weather.
The PM doubled down his anti-complacency messaging today during his campaign trip to Staffordshire.
Reiterating the memo’s concerns that opposition parties only need 12 seats to put Mr Corbyn in power, he warned there is a ‘clear and present’ danger of another hung parliament if voters do not back the Conservatives.
He was expected to say: ‘The danger of another hung parliament is clear and present. There are sophisticated and well-financed attempts underway to prevent a Conservative majority through tactical voting.
‘Jeremy Corbyn and his Lib Dem, nationalist and Green allies need only 12 more seats than last time to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister and continue the chaos of a hung parliament.
‘A vote for any of these parties is a vote for further indecision and two more referendums, on Brexit and Scottish independence. We’ll be stuck in this limbo, this first circle of hell, for the foreseeable future.
‘On the other hand, the Conservatives need only nine more seats for a majority. We could finally get Brexit done, end the uncertainty and move on.’
‘Hang on, isn’t the doorstep character trying to sleep with his best mate’s wife?’ Twitter mocks Boris Johnson’s choice of Love Actually scene to recreate
by JACK ELSOM for MailOnline
Boris Johnson’s choice of playing a Love Actually character who wanted to sleep with his best friend’s wife raised eyebrows on Twitter after the Tory campaign ad debuted last night.
Online jokers wasted no time in pointing out the PM’s own colourful romantic history as a flood of copycat memes hit the internet.
The advert was among the top trending topics in the UK – and responses were split as to whether it was ‘cringe-making’ or ‘literally the best thing ever’.
The Conservatives’ their final pre-polling day election broadcast recreated a memorable scene from the 2003 rom-com featuring Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightly.
In it, Lincoln uses a slideshow of placards to tell Knightly he loves her, so not to alert her partner – and his best friend – who is inside.
Thumbs up? Boris Johnson rated his own performance but opinions online were evenly divided
Opinions on the election broadcast differed, actually
Tweets pointed out that another character in Love Actually was the Prime Minister, if the real-life PM needed an alternative role
Viewers were otherwise mixed in their responses to the Conservative party election broadcast, with some hailing the good-humoured stunt while others deplored it as toe-curling cringe.
Predictably, Twitter users leaped upon the name of the film and referenced it in their remarks, which ranged from ‘cringe, actually’ to ‘now that is really good, actually!’
The Prime Minister himself tweeted the video with the caption ‘Brexit, actually’, which quickly racked up thousands of likes and half a million views.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Labour candidate for Tooting, accused the PM of copying her after she too emulated the 2003 Christmas rom-com.
She edited a screenshot of Mr Johnson’s placards so they instead read: ‘I have no original ideas so copied Rosena’s video.’
Inevitably, lots of people found it easy to superimpose their own messages on the white placards Mr Johnson was holding in the video
Viewers were mixed in their responses to the Conservative party election broadcast, with some hailing the good-humoured stunt while others deplored it as toe-curling cringe
The PM’s range of facial expressions, from stern through concerned to a form of happy, drew praise from one Twitter user
Many people praised the Tory leader for injecting a little fun into an otherwise divisive election campaign.
One person wrote: ‘Laughter is the best medicine. Like the PM or not, that’s the best political ad ever.’ Another said: ‘Finally a political broadcast that’s quite amusing.’
But some tore into Mr Johnson for taking a sledgehammer to their favourite festive film which they said they would struggle to watch again after watching the PM star in one of the most famous scenes.
A tweeter wrote: ‘A great Christmas film ruined, as if selling off the NHS isn’t bad enough.’
Inevitably, lots of people found it easy to superimpose their own messages on the white placards Mr Johnson was holding in the video.
One person wrote conjured up a meme of the PM holding a billboard reading: ‘No Brexit plan just going to keep saying nonsense until we all die.’
Another simply stated: ‘Hugh Grant wore it better.’
One person wrote conjured up a meme of the PM holding a billboard reading: ‘No Brexit plan just going to keep saying nonsense until we all die’
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Labour candidate for Tooting, accused the PM of copying her after she too emulated the 2003 Christmas rom-com
‘It’s not a “commie hat”, it’s a cap!’ Jeremy Corbyn reads out mean tweets about his clothes and freebie-filled manifesto in spoof election video
Jeremy Corbyn has joined Boris Johnson in releasing a spoof video which shows the Labour leader reading our nasty tweets about himself.
In a video entitled ‘Mean Tweets with Jeremy Corbyn’, the left-winger replicated a format popularised by US late-night chat host Jimmy Kimmel.
In the clip, the Labour leader sat by a fireplace and read out critical tweets about him and his campaign.
Mr Corbyn replied: ‘What is a commie hat? I wear a cap! It’s a bit like when I was told I was riding a Maoist bicycle. It’s a bicycle!’
In a video entitled ‘Mean Tweets with Jeremy Corbyn’, the left-winger replicated a format popularised by US late-night chat host Jimmy Kimmel
The next tweet took a swipe at one of Labour’s most eye-watering spending splurges to provide free broadband.
It read: ‘Every household doesn’t need the fastest broadband, you absolute moby.’
Mr Corbyn replied: ‘What’s a moby?’ but the video suddenly cuts off and appears to buffer, but is actually part of the clip as ‘no more buffering with Labour broadband’ flashes up on screen.
To the laughter of aides behind the camera, the Labour leader then shrugs off a question about being found ‘sexy’.
He was then taken to task on his pledge to provide free university tuition tree, and accused of rummaging for funds in the ‘magic money tree’.
Mr Corbyn retorted by telling viewers there was a magic money tree ‘in the Cayman Islands’.
The Labour leader ended the video with a high-five to someone off-camera and saying he would be the next prime minister.
Jeremy Corbyn’s much-derided ‘magic money tree’ was the focus of one of the Tweets that the Labour leader read out
Labour’s vid ended by declaring their leader the ‘next prime minister’… in response to someone who didn’t know who he was
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