Johnson vows to end ‘groundhoggery’ of Brexit in first major election speech

13 November 2019, 08:35 | Updated: 13 November 2019, 08:42

General Election 2019
General Election 2019. Picture: PA

Labour, meanwhile, will vow to boost health funding by £26 billion if they enter government, as part of the party’s “rescue plan” to improve the NHS.

Boris Johnson will promise to end the “groundhoggery” of Brexit if the Conservatives win a majority at the General Election in his first keynote speech of the campaign.

The Prime Minister will pledge to drive a clean energy revolution while investing in the NHS, cutting crime and helping people with the cost of living if he succeeds on December 12.

Labour, meanwhile, will vow to boost health funding by £26 billion if they enter government, as part of the party’s “rescue plan” to improve the NHS.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will announce the proposals to end the “Tory NHS crisis” with the funding boost in a speech at the Royal Society of Medicine on Wednesday.

They are expected to pledge an annual average 4.3% funding increase for health spending over the next four years, funded from Labour’s proposals to reverse corporation tax cuts and tax the wealthiest people in society.

Tory leader Mr Johnson will use a speech at an electric vehicle manufacturer in the West Midlands later in the afternoon to warn that a Labour-SNP coalition would “ruin 2020” with two referendums.

The PM will say: “If we can get a working majority we can get Parliament working for you, we can get out of the rut. We can end the groundhoggery of Brexit…

“We face a historic choice. At this election the country can either move forwards with policies that will deliver years of growth and prosperity, or it can disappear into an intellectual cul-de-sac of far left Corbynism.

“We can honour the wishes of the people, or else we can waste more time, at the cost of a billion pounds per month, and have two more referendums, one on Scotland and one on the EU – an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, more political self-obsession and onanism.”

He urged undecided voters to “imagine waking up on Friday December 13 after the election to find the Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition in Downing Street”.

“They will ruin 2020 with two referendums, they will ruin the economy with out of control debt, they will put taxes up for everyone and instead of an Australian points system we’ll have uncontrolled and unlimited immigration.”

Mr Johnson’s intervention comes as:

– A YouGov survey for The Times suggested Mr Johnson had opened up a 14-point poll lead over Labour after Mr Farage’s decision to pull Brexit Party candidates from Tory-held seats.

– Former Conservative Cabinet minister David Gauke announced he would stand as an independent candidate in his South West Hertfordshire constituency.

– Nigel Farage was warned he has just 48 hours to “save Brexit” by his long-time ally and millionaire backer Arron Banks.

General Election 2019 opinion polls
(PA Graphics)

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will announce a £500 million investment in youth services aimed at combating knife crime on a visit to a boxing gym in London.

The party said the fund would be ringfenced and “provide young people with positive, safe and healthy opportunities to prevent them being drawn into youth violence and gang-related crime”.

It comes as one of their candidates – Tim Walker – announced he would stand down in a key marginal seat to avoid splitting the Remain vote.

Mr Walker was due to contest Labour-held Canterbury but said he had asked his local party to withdraw his nomination papers as he wanted “no part” in allowing a Tory Brexiteer to win the seat.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will head north of the border for a two-day tour in which he will vow to deliver “massive investment” in Scotland if his party wins the election.

He said his rivals – the SNP and Tories – had neither the “ideas” nor the “will” to transform Scotland for the better.

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