BORIS Johnson has promised that he is the only one who can defeat Jeremy Corbyn AND deliver Brexit as he officially kicked off his campaign to become Britain’s next prime minister.
The Tory frontrunner pitched his bold vision for a post-Brexit Britain and warned that the Tories will “kick the bucket” if they fail to get us out of the EU by October 31.
The big beast has formally launched his campaign after weeks of anticipation – warning: “Kick the can and we kick the bucket.”
With just hours to go before MPs vote for the first time tomorrow on who they want to be their next leader:
Boris promised to deliver the historic 2016 vote and get us out of the EU before the end of October
He insisted he was the only one to see off the dangerous leftie politics of Jeremy Corbyn
He dodged questions on whether he took drugs as a teenager but admitted he’d probably broken the speed limit in the past
And he promised to bang the drum for free market trade around the world to best support the “poorest and neediest” in society
He told supporters in Westminster earlier: “Now is the time to remember our duty to the people and the reasons for the Brexit vote.
“They wanted to be heard.
“Now is the time to unite this country and unite this society.
“We cannot begin that until we have delivered on the primary requirement of the people, that they asked us to do
After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31.
“We must do better than the current withdrawal agreement, that has been rejected three times.”
And pledging to take us out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, Mr Johnson blasted: “We simply will not get a result if we give the slightest hint that we want to go on kicking the can down the road with yet more delay.
“Delay means defeat. Delay means Corbyn. Kick the can and we kick the bucket.”
But he appeared to soften his hardline position on a No Deal, saying he didn’t want to go for a No Deal, but would get ready just in case.
“I am not aiming for a No Deal outcome,” he said.
I don’t think we will end up with any such thing but its only responsible to prepare.”
Urging MPs to “come together, get this thing done” he said that if MPs blocked Brexit “we will face mortal retribution from the electorate”.
And he dismissed calls he was unfit to be PM, promising to “rise to the challenge” of finally getting us out.
“I am not going to pretend it will be plain sailing, there may be bumps in the road,” he warned.
“But my team will hit the ground running.
“I think we will get the result – a sensible, orderly Brexit that allows this country to flourish on a great mission.”
Partner Carrie Symonds was by his side for the official launch, alongside dad Stanley Johnson and brother Jo too.
He was also flanked by a series of allies from across the Brexit spectrum – from ERG big-beasts Steve Baker, Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob-Rees Mogg, to Cabinet bigwigs Liz Truss and James Brokenshire.
Boris issued a blistering attack on Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, saying “he and what he stands for are a real threat to our fundamental values and our way of life”.
“I will do absolutely anything I can… to prevent the government of the UK from passing into the hands of those who by their total disdain for wealth creation and their contempt for the normal aspirations of millions to improve their lives, would compromise our ability to fund the NHS and so much else besides,” he said.
And he today pointed to his track record beating Labour’s Ken Livingstone in London as proof he can see him off.
He said: “The last time I faced an emanation of that Marxist cabal I defeated him when the Conservatives were 17 points behind in London. And we can do it again.”
When asked whether he’d ever done anything illegal, he confessed: “I cannot swear I have always observed the top speed limit of 70mph.”
But he dodged a direct question on whether he regretted taking class A drugs, saying: “I think the account of this event when I was 19 has appeared many many times.”
He apologised for any “offence” caused over his controversial comments comparing Muslim women to “letter boxes” but insisted he would continue to “speak as directly as I can” if he ever becomes PM.
The Brexiteer promised to push the merits of “free market capitalism” to “support the poorest and neediest in society”.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox introduced him as the “a leader who can unify the Conservative family and outcampaign and outfight Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage at any time and in any corner of our country.”
And he got a boost from a poll which suggested he is the only contender who could win a solid Commons majority for the Tories.