‘This SHOULD have been the day we delivered Brexit’: Boris Johnson rages at ‘dithering’ Jeremy Corbyn for blocking his ‘great new deal’ with the EU as he says election offers ‘hope’
The Prime Minister laid responsibility for thwarting the UK’s departure squarely on the Labour leader as he geared up for a titanic election battle.
Mr Johnson – who will kick off his campaign tour with visits to a school, hospital and police station later – said he had secured a ‘great deal’ from the EU.
But he argued it was impossible to get it through Parliament because Mr Corbyn would not cooperate.
The furious rant from the PM – who is marking his 100th day in Downing Street – came as the struggle for votes on December 12 gets under way for real.
A YouGov poll today found the Tories have a 15 point lead over Labour – but underlined the way the electorate was fragmenting, with both the Lib Dems and Brexit Party showing significant support.
Mr Corbyn will effectively declare class war on the Tories later as he launches Labour’s campaign, saying he is determined to take on the ‘corrupt’ British system and ‘vested interests’.
Boris Johnson (left) argued it was impossible to get Brexit past Parliament because Jeremy Corbyn (right) would not cooperate
But both leaders are facing massive challenges to get their message across.
Two Jewish Labour groups have announced they will not back Mr Corbyn as PM after his hard-Left supporters brought a vile wave of anti-Semitism to the party.
Other MPs are also agonising over whether they can endorse him as a fit person to be in Downing Street.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is facing an exodus of moderate MPs. Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan cited the ‘abuse’ she had received in the fraught Westminster environment as she became the latest high profile figure to stand down at the election.
Theresa May’s former deputy David Lidington, Amber Rudd and minister Mimms Davies have also announced they are leaving the Commons, with MPs voicing fears that the One Nation wing of the Tories is evaporating.
After previously pledging that he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than extend Brexit beyond October 31, Mr Johnson said it was Mr Corbyn’s fault the UK’s withdrawal from the EU had been put back until January 31.
‘Today should have been the day that Brexit was delivered and we finally left the EU,’ he said.
‘But, despite the great new deal I agreed with the EU, Jeremy Corbyn refused to allow that to happen – insisting upon more dither, more delay and more uncertainty for families and business.’
In his first major stump speech of the campaign, Mr Corbyn will hit out at the ‘tax dodgers, bad bosses, big polluters, and billionaire-owned media holding our country back’.
But Mr Corbyn tweeted: ‘Boris Johnson has spent months promising we’d leave the EU today. The failure to do so is his and his alone. Labour will get Brexit sorted by giving the people the final say within six months with the choice of a credible leave deal or remain. And we’ll carry out what you decide.’
Mr Corbyn will use his speech in London to ‘call out’ people like the media baron Rupert Murdoch, and the Duke of Westminster.
He will say that ‘the elite’ are scared of the British people, which is why ‘they’ll throw everything’ at Labour in the upcoming election.
Mr Corbyn will say: ‘This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country, take on the vested interests holding people back and ensure that no community is left behind.
‘So, we’re going after the tax dodgers. We’re going after the dodgy landlords. We’re going after the bad bosses. We’re going after the big polluters. Because we know whose side we’re on.
‘Whose side are you on? The dodgy landlords, like the Duke of Westminster, Britain’s youngest billionaire, who tried to evict whole blocks of families to make way for luxury apartments? Or the millions of tenants in Britain who struggle to pay their rent each month?
Nicky Morgan (left) and David Lidington (right) have announced they are standing down
‘Whose side are you on? The bad bosses like Mike Ashley, the billionaire who won’t pay his staff properly and is running Newcastle United into the ground?
‘Whose side are you on? The big polluters like Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who makes his money by polluting the environment? Or the children growing up in our cities with reduced lung capacity because of choking pollution?
‘And whose side are you on? The billionaire media barons like Rupert Murdoch, whose empire pumps out propaganda to support a rigged system.’
The comments came as Ms Morgan became the latest high profile female Tory to quit frontline politics.
Announcing her decision not to run in the election, Ms Morgan cited the abuse she had received as an MP.
She said: ‘But the clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do – represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate and make decisions in the overall national interest.’
Speaking on ITV’s Peston programme, former Conservative chairwoman Baroness Warsi said she doubted the election would make Brexit any easier to pass.
‘If Boris’s whole premiership is going to be about Brexit then I’m not convinced that this election is going to deliver him any more Members of Parliament that will vote for this deal, nor will he get this deal any quicker having had this General Election,’ she said