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Boris Johnson makes surprise first Conservative election campaign appearance

Boris Johnson has made his first appearance of the Conservative election campaign at a rally in central London.

The former Prime Minister was greeted by cheers, claps, whistles and chants of “Boris, Boris, Boris”, before he warned of the “disaster” of a Labour victory.

He also branded a vote for Labour “a vote for higher taxes, uncontrolled immigration” in his address, before Rishi Sunak then took to the stage to give a speech.

It is understood that Mr Johnson’s attendance was kept secret to most attendees, with only a few aides being briefed about it, The Sun reports.

It comes after Mr Johnson’s team said last month he is not expected to make an appearance on the campaign trail.

Boris Johnson delivers a speech in central London, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday July 2, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire
Boris Johnson warned of the ‘disaster’ of a Labour victory in his speech (Photo: PA)

Mr Johnson also thanked attendees for “coming so late, way past Keir Starmer’s bed time” and said that Rishi Sunak asked him to come and help of course and he “couldn’t say no”.

Mr Johnson criticised Sir Keir Starmer for not being able to explain “the difference between a man and a woman”.

“He sits there with his mouth open like a stunned mullet,” he said.

He also claimed Starmer will turn Britain into the “punk of Brussels”.

He also accused Sir Keir Starmer of trying to “usher in the most left-wing Labour government since the war”.

He told campaigners: “They can achieve nothing in this election except to usher in the most left-wing Labour government since the war with a huge majority, and we must not let it happen.

“Don’t let the Putinistas deliver the Corbynistas. Don’t let Putin’s pet parrots give this entire country psittacosis – which is a disease you get by the way from cosying up to pet parrots.

“Friends, if you actually – everybody if you actually want higher taxes next week, this year, if you feel you’ve got a few thousands to spare, then vote Labour on Thursday. If you want uncontrolled immigration and mandatory wokery, and pointless kowtowing to Brussels again, then go right ahead, make my day, vote for Starmer.

“But if you want to protect our democracy and our economy and keep this country strong abroad by spending 2.5% of our GDP on defence which Labour still refuses to commit to, then you know what to do, don’t you, everybody?

“There’s only one thing to do – vote Conservative on Thursday my friends and I know you will. I know you will.”

Mr Johnson warned it is the “height of insanity” that exit polls are suggesting the Tories are about to give Labour a “super majority, which they will use to make us nothing but the punk of Brussels, taking EU law by dictation with no say on how that law is made?”.

He added: “And yet, Labour are so cocky that they’re barely, they’re barely, they’re so complacent, they’re so slug, they’re barely complex at concealing their agenda anymore.

“And we can see what it is: racking up taxes on pensions, on property, persecuting private enterprise, attacking private education and private healthcare, with all the pointless extra burden that will place on the taxpayer.

“And all the time, poor old Starmer is so terrified of disobeying Left-wing dogma that he’s reluctant to explain the difference between a man and a woman. And he just, he just sits there with his mouth opening and shouting like a stunned mullet.”

The Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader Daisy Cooper said Mr Johnson’s appearance at the rally is “an insult to everyone who made heartbreaking sacrifices during the pandemic”.

She added that Rishi Sunak has “reached a desperate new low” by “turning to a man who discredited the office of Prime Minister and lied to the country time after time”.

While he has not been on the campaign trail, Mr Johnson has been writing letters of endorsement and backing a number of Tories in social media posts.

Mr Johnson is thought to have taken a holiday last month amid the Tory election campaigning and the trip was planned long in advance of Mr Sunak calling a surprise summer election.

His team previously said he acted in line with what party headquarters have asked him to do to support the campaign.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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