Boris Johnson has told Brexit supporters they must vote Tory to prevent a “hung, broken Parliament” that cannot deliver their desires, as he attempted to shift the election focus back on to the EU.
The Prime Minister vowed on Friday that he would get the UK out of the bloc by January 31, “no ifs, no buts”, by bringing his deal back before Parliament before Christmas.
The Conservative leader’s comments alongside key Vote Leave allies in a Westminster press conference came after a poll suggested Brexit-backers hold the key to winning the December 12 election.
Flanked by senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove and former Labour MP Gisela Stuart, Mr Johnson warned voters that Brexit would be further “delayed, denied” if they do not deliver a Tory majority.
He said: “No other party can deliver change at this election because every other party would be stuck in that selfsame hung, broken Parliament, arguing amongst themselves about Brexit, which is why the only way to secure change at this election is with the Conservative Party.
“And if we do this we will at last be able to lift ourselves out of the present morass and go forward with confidence.”
He warned the public that if they do not deliver a Commons majority “then the deadlock will continue”, with Jeremy Corbyn leading a Labour government propped up by the SNP.
“Our first move would be to bring the Withdrawal Agreement Bill back before Christmas and then leave the EU on January 31. No ifs, no buts – we’ll get it done,” Mr Johnson added.
Meanwhile, the PM committed to “ensuring that the public sector buys British”, and to introducing a new state aid regime that would make it easier for the Government to intervene in ailing industries.
He also vowed to “take steps to ensure” his proposed Australian-style points-based immigration system “is in place” by January 1, 2021.
Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, stressed the hung Parliament message, saying it would lead to more “dither, delay and deadlock”.
Ms Stuart said she will “vote for Brexit” by backing the Tories instead of her former party Labour.
She added: “I urge other Leave voters across the country to join me in voting for Brexit once more by voting for Boris Johnson on December 12, so that we can finish the job we have started, so that we can get Brexit done, and we can take back control.”
The press conference came after a powerful YouGov poll for The Times suggested the Tories are on course for a majority of 68, with Labour’s support interpreted as crumbling in Leave-backing seats.
According to the BBC, the research prompted Labour to shift its campaign strategy to shore up support in those areas, including its heartlands in the North of England and the Midlands.
Mr Johnson, both during the conference and an earlier phone-in with LBC radio, continued to be dogged by questions over his refusal to commit to a lengthy interview with Andrew Neil.
He has been accused of “running scared” of scrutiny from the veteran journalist who will grill all other leaders vying to by PM for the BBC.
The PM was also forced to defend himself live on air by a single mother who accused him of stigmatising her sons – who are now successful professionals – in articles written when he was a journalist.
He said his comments in the Spectator magazine in 1995 that children of single mothers were “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate” had been taken out of context.