PM visits Moray
Johnson warns Scots that Corbyn will ‘dance to SNP’s tune’
Union man: Boris Johnson will not give up on the UK
Boris Johnson will campaign in north east Scotland today with a pledge to “never give up on our incredible union”.
The Conservative Party leader is visiting Scotland on his first full day of the general election campaign trail.
Speaking ahead of meeting supporters in Moray, the Prime Minister warned that failing to back the Tories would mean Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street “dancing to the SNP’s tune”.
He said: “This is a crucial election for Scotland. A vote for the Scottish Conservatives is a vote to stop a second independence referendum and to get Brexit done so we can spend 2020 taking back control of our fishing waters, getting a fairer deal for our farmers, and investing in public services to give people better healthcare and better education.
“The other choice is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn who would spend next year dancing to the SNP’s tune, wasting the year with two divisive referendums – one on the EU and one to give up on our union.
“Only a vote for the Conservatives will stop the SNP’s plans to break up the UK – the most fantastic and successful political union in the world. I will never give up on our incredible union.”
He said the Labour leader would waste 2020 staging two “divisive” referendums on Scottish independence and Brexit, whereas the Tories would bring a halt to Ms Sturgeon’s plans to break up the UK.
His party election campaign launched earlier on Wednesday was overshadowed by the resignation of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who was accused of “brazenly lying” about his knowledge of an allegation that a Tory candidate had sabotaged a rape trial.
At a campaign rally in Alloa earlier on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland could hold the balance of power in the event of a hung parliament.
Watson steps down
Labour was coming to terms with the resignation of deputy leader Tom Watson who will not run as an MP in the December election.
He said he will continue to campaign for the party, and the decision was “personal, not political”. However, Mr Watson has often been at odds with the leadership and faced an attempt to oust him at Labour’s conference.
As an EU Remainer, Mr Watson was also at odds with his own constituency, which voted 66% in favour of Leave at the 2016 referendum.
Mr Corbyn thanked Mr Watson for his service, adding: “This is not the end of our work together.”
In his letter to Mr Corbyn, the former MP for West Bromwich East thanked the leader “for the decency and courtesy you have shown me over the last four years, even in difficult times”.
He added: “Our many shared interests are less well known than our political differences, but I will continue to devote myself to the things we often talk about” – including gambling regulation, stopping press intrusion and campaigns on public health.