SWITZERLAND, NOVEMBER 07 – Britain’s five-week election campaign officially began Wednesday, when Parliament was dissolved ahead of the December 12 vote. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s campaign launch was marred by the resignation of one of his ministers, a gaffe about the victims of a deadly tower blaze and a doctored video of an opponent released by his party.
Johnson called a snap election in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock that he says has paralysed Britain for more than three years and had started to undermine confidence in the world’s fifth largest economy.
But just an hour after meeting Queen Elizabeth to formally begin the election campaign, Johnson’s minister for Wales, Alun Cairns, resigned after being accused of lying about his knowledge about an aide who allegedly sabotaged a rape trial.
At the start of the campaign, Johnson’s Conservatives enjoy a lead over the opposition Labour Party of between 7 and 17 percentage points, though pollsters warn that their models are wilting beside the Brexit furnace.
“Come with us, get Brexit done and take this country forward, or, and this is the alternative next year, spend the whole of 2020 in a horror show of yet more dither and delay,” he said.
Johnson said Corbyn hated wealth and was thus like Soviet leader Josef Stalin – who sent millions to their deaths in labour camps. Corbyn said such remarks were “nonsense” that the super-rich came up with to avoid paying more tax.
Earlier, Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly spent the morning defending distributing a doctored video clip of a rival Labour Party politician instead of touting Johnson’s election campaign launch.
Another prominent Conservative, Jacob Rees-Mogg, apologised on Tuesday after he suggested that victims of the blaze at London’s Grenfell Tower should have used common sense to ignore firefighters’ instructions to stay in the burning building.