19:32 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson speaks during the launch of his campaign in London, Britain June 12, 2019.

    Boris Johnson Promises to Protect Britain From ‘Red-Clawed Socialism’ Under Jeremy Corbyn

    © REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
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    Ten candidates are bidding for the leadership of the Conservative Party which will bring with it the job of Prime Minister, succeeding Theresa May. The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is one of the main contenders.

    Boris Johnson has said if he is elected as the leader of the Conservative Party he will defeat Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and protect Britain from “red-toothed, red-clawed socialism.”

    Mr Johnson is the favourite to win the contest and replace Theresa May next month and in a speech on Wednesday, 12 June, he spelt out exactly what his approach would be to Brexit.

    ​He said he was "not aiming for a no-deal outcome".

    Mr Johnson said leaving no deal on the table was a "vital tool of negotiation" and Britain "must do better than the current withdrawal agreement".

    ​"Delay means defeat, delay means Corbyn," he said, insisting Britain would leave the EU on 31 October.

    Mr Johnson said: "I'm not aiming for a no deal outcome but it's only responsible to prepare for no deal."

    He said: "I think this is a great country and we are more than capable of rising to the challenge. We have to have the guts and the courage to stand up to Europe. They don't want no deal any more than I do and we can't just keep kicking the can down the road.

    ​"Every week and month that goes by we will alienate our natural supporters and drive them into the arms of insurgent parties," said Mr Johnson, in a clear reference to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

    Mr Johnson said he was confident that there would be a huge sense of relief when Brexit is finally achieved.

    He added: "Then we can concentrate on creating the Britain we need."

    ​Mr Johnson beat the drum for British industry - mentioning firms involved in cutting-edge battery technology and turbine design - and also for the City of London.

    He said: "There was a long period when I was the only politician who stood up for financial services, which pay £70 billion in tax into our economy."

    Mr Johnson - who was later asked by a Financial Times journalist why he had once said "F*** business" - said he would continue to champion business and wealth creation and would oppose Jeremy Corbyn and his "nihilistic" policies, which he said included putting up taxes and targeting the business community.

    ​Mr Johnson said Britain's businesses were being held back by bureaucracy and he added: "We are achieving grand prix speeds without firing on all cylinders."

    He went through his record as Mayor of London, claiming to have built 100,000 affordable homes, to have cut the murder rate and road traffic fatalities and increased the incomes of the poorest Londoners.

    Mr Johnson said he would represent Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as his native England and referred to them collectively as the "awesome foursome".

    ​He said Britain was a "soft power superpower" and he said it was time for the country to "end this debilitating uncertainty" over Brexit.

    "That is why I believe I'm the right person to take this country forward," said Mr Johnson.

    On Thursday, 13 June, Mr Johnson and the nine other contenders - who include his erstwhile friend Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt, who succeeded him as Foreign Secretary - will face the first round of voting among Conservative MPs.



    leadership battle, Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit, Conservative Party, Boris Johnson
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