‘Don’t let the Putinistas deliver the Corbynistas’: Boris Johnson’s speech in full

Boris Johnson lent his support to Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail in a last-ditch attempt as pollsters forecast their party could “win a lower share of the vote than at any past general election”.

The former prime minister has been largely absent from the campaign, although supportive in his newspaper column, and has been writing letters of endorsement and backing a number of Tories in social media posts.

As he stepped onto the stage at the National Army Museum on Tuesday, less than 48 hours before polls open, Mr Johnson was greeted by applause and chants of “Boris, Boris, Boris”.

He made his speech after Survation pollsters found Labour is on course to win more seats than it did in 1997.

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Here is Mr Johnson’s 10-minute speech in full:

“First of all, [...] how wonderful it is to see you all again.

“I feel the pride of your company and how grateful I am to all of you for everything that you’ve been doing over the last few weeks and for coming so late tonight to this as it is way past Keir Starmer’s bedtime.

“If you are slightly surprised to see me, if you’re slightly surprised, I’ll be absolutely clear that I was glad when Rishi asked me to help. Of course, I couldn’t say no and I’m here for one reason and one reason only, which is the same reason as all of us are here, we’re here because we love our country and whatever our differences, they are utterly trivial by comparison with the disaster we may face if these so-called opinion polls are right.

“I think and hope the British people will show more sense on Thursday and draw back from the brink.

“But if these polls are right, then at the very moment when this country has beaten Covid and beaten post Covid inflation, and at the very moment when we should be encouraging enterprise and growth and putting some money into home ownership and putting some money into people’s pockets, Westminster is about to go in diametrically the opposite direction.

“So, none of us can sit back as a Labour government prepares to use a sledgehammer majority to destroy so much of what we have achieved and what you have achieved.

“Five years ago, you helped to send Jeremy Corbyn and his then disciple Keir Starmer into orbit, where they belonged and we got Brexit done, we restored democracy.

“It was because we got a proper Brexit, and you will all remember how hard that fight was when we came out of the EU single market. We controlled our own regulation and my friends, whatever people may say, that national independence was vital.

“When it came to approving Covid vaccine faster than any EU country and therefore getting the fastest vaccine rollout of any major economy and the fastest economic rebound in the G7.

“And let me just ask you in case you’ve forgotten, because I haven’t, a chance to remind you that for the 200 countries on Earth, which was the first government, after all the miseries of Covid to put a licensed, approved and effective vaccine into the arms of our citizens?

“It was the British government. It was a Brexit government. It was a Conservative government. It was thanks to Brexit which you helped to deliver.

“This country was able to take the lead in standing up for Ukraine in delivering the agreement.

“Many, many other things, taking back control of our money, our laws, thanks to Brexit that we can today finally legally control our own borders.

“And is it not therefore the height of insanity if these polls are right that we are about to give Labour a supermajority, 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, paying into Brussels budgets again, you watch, you watch.

“As the price for scrapping the Rwanda scheme just as it is on the verge of coming into force, just as it is being imitated by governments around the world to act as a deterrent. Bringing back uncontrolled free movement, uncontrollable free movement as the price of stamps deal with the EU.

“Do you think this country really wants to give Starmer that kind of mandate? I don’t think they do.

“And yet, Labour are so complacent, they’re so smug, they’re barely concealing their agenda anymore, and we can see what it is.

“Whacking 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 taxpayers.

“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 sits there with his mouth opening and shutting like a stunned mullet.

“Do we want this kind of madness? Do we want to have higher taxes? Do we want more wokery imposed on our schools?

“Unless we change it, this gigantic Labour majority, pregnant with horrors, because even though Labour’s share of the votes right now is far lower than ours was in 2019, and even though Starmer has record low approval ratings for a man in his in his position supposedly on the verge of office, our system, I’m afraid, will deliver that supermajority because too many good, kind, moderate Tories are about to vote for other parties apparently, and thereby get exactly the opposite of what they really want.

“Even if those other parties turn out to be full of Kremlin crawlers who actually make excuses for Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. They say Putin’s a good operator, puffing their troops and running a tight ship.

“Well, if that’s what they mean by a man who shoots journalists and poisons his opponents and murders thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians, I say shame on them.

“They can achieve nothing at 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.

“Everybody if you actually want higher taxes next week, this year, if you feel you’ve got a few thousand 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 per cent 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.”

“In the brief time that we have left, I hope that you will encourage everybody else in this country to do the same.

“Thank you very much. Thank you.”