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Boris Johnson is HECKLED by a voter during ‘election campaign’ speech


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Boris Johnson’s charm offensive in Yorkshire was derailed today as a heckler demanded he ‘gets back to Parliament’ and ‘sort out the mess you created’.

The PM’s big speech in Rotherham was interrupted by a man who repeatedly shouted condemnation of his controversial decision to suspend the Commons this week.

As Mr Johnson tried to set out his Northern Powerhouse plans for boosting the economy, a member of the audience shouted: ‘Maybe get back into Parliament, yes?

‘Why are you not with them in Parliament sorting out the mess you created?’ 

A clearly discomfited Mr Johnson had to stop his address to reply: ‘Would you mind … I’m very happy to get back to Parliament very soon.’ 

Later in the appearance he gave another defence of his decision to prorogue Parliament – dramatically ruled illegal by Scottish judges this week – saying he wanted a Queen’s Speech so he can push new legislation next month.

‘We’ve lost about four days of Parliament sitting time,’ he said. ‘There is ample time for Parliament to consider not just Brexit but all kinds of things.’ 

Earlier, Mr Johnson was accosted by a woman as he did a walkabout in Doncaster town centre. She said he had a ‘cheek’ claiming ‘austerity is over’ when people were ‘dying’.

The clashes come after Mr Johnson was accosted by a voter in Leeds last week who asked why he wasn’t busy in the EU trying to negotiate a Brexit deal. 

In another sign of the mounting backlash among the public, an audience member on Question Time was hailed for delivered a damning rant at politicians for ‘arguing like little kids’ rather than finding a solution to the Brexit issue. 

As Mr Johnson tried to set out his Northern Powerhouse plans for boosting the economy, a member of the audience shouted: ‘Maybe get back into Parliament, yes?’

The heckler was wrestled out of the venue by security as he continued shouting at the premier in Rotherham today

The heckler was wrestled out of the venue by security as he continued shouting at the premier in Rotherham today

Mr Johson pressed on with his speech despite the interruption today

The PM seemed thrown by the unexpected intervention

Mr Johson pressed on with his speech despite the interruption today, defending his decision to prorogue Parliament

Boris Johnson was accosted by a woman as he did a walkabout in Doncaster town centre during his 'shadow' election campaigning today (pictured)

 Boris Johnson was accosted by a woman as he did a walkabout in Doncaster town centre during his ‘shadow’ election campaigning today (pictured)

Rumours have been swirling that Boris Johnson (pictured at Doncaster market today) is preparing a new version of the 'insurance policy' for the Irish border

Rumours have been swirling that Boris Johnson (pictured at Doncaster market today) is preparing a new version of the ‘insurance policy’ for the Irish border

During his trip to Doncaster market, the Prime Minister told one trader ‘we’re going to get a deal’, adding: ‘That’s the plan, anyway. And if we don’t, we’re coming out on October 31. That’s what we’re going to do. Here we go, that’s democracy.’

Mr Johnson was surrounded by excited shoppers as he visited the sunny South Yorkshire town, 69 per cent of which voted to leave in the EU referendum but has been regarded as a Labour stronghold in past elections.

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker are set for showdown lunch at a ‘neutral location’ on Monday 

Boris Johnson will make a dash to Luxembourg for talks with Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday as efforts to get a Brexit deal intensify.

The PM will hold a crisis meeting with the EU commission president at a ‘neutral location’ as the clock ticks down on his ‘do or die’ date for leaving the bloc.

He will also meet Luxembourg premier Xavier Bettel during the trip.

However, the scale of the challenge Mr Johnson faces was underlined today when Irish PM Leo Varadkar warned that the ‘gap is very wide’ between the two sides.   

Rumours are swirling that Mr Johnson is pinning his hopes on a new version of the ‘insurance policy’ for the Irish border.

There are claims that the DUP is ready to soften its red lines on the backstop, although that was rejected by the party today. 

Mr Varadkar also moved to play down the scope for compromise this morning.

‘We have always said we would be willing to look at alternative arrangements but what we’re seeing falls far short,’ Mr Varadkar told RTE radio. 

‘We are exploring what is possible. The gap is very wide but we will fight for and work for a deal until the last moment, but not at any cost.’ 

But he had an awkward exchange with one woman who told him: ‘People have died because of austerity. 

‘And then you’ve got the cheek to come here and tell us austerity is over and it’s all good now, we’re going to leave the EU and everything is going to be great. It’s just a fairy tale.’

Mr Johnson mumbled that he was ‘putting a lot of investment into public services’. 

The woman added: ‘All you’re going  

He showed no reaction as one man told him: ‘Find a deal here – this is Doncaster, not Europe.’

As he walked around stalls inside the market’s indoor Corn Exchange, the Prime Minister stopped to speak with one fish seller.

With Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry watching on, Mr Johnson was heard remarking: ‘Look at that… lobster claws. We’ve got to take a few claws out of that Withdrawal Agreement.’

The Prime Minister also stopped off at a ‘cob shop’, smiling as he bought a loaf of bread and scones from the stall.

After stepping outside into the packed marketplace on Friday morning, Mr Johnson reassured one shopper: ‘We’ll get you out, we’ll get us out.’

As he visited a fruit stall, the Prime Minister moved towards some Belgium strawberries, before eventually buying English Victoria plums.

The Prime Minister is visiting South Yorkshire after northern politicians made a joint call for more help in their regions from his government.

Mr Johnson will make a dash to Luxembourg for talks with Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday as efforts to get a Brexit deal intensify.

The PM will hold a crisis meeting with the EU commission president as the clock ticks down on his ‘do or die’ date for leaving the bloc.

He will also meet Luxembourg premier Xavier Bettel during the trip.

However, the scale of the challenge Mr Johnson faces was underlined today when Irish PM Leo Varadkar warned that the ‘gap is very wide’ between the two sides.   

The DUP has also flatly dismissed claims it is ready to accept a watered-down backstop – despite swirling rumours that Mr Johnson is pinning his hopes on a new version of the ‘insurance policy’ for the Irish border. 

Security removed the protester from Mr Johnson's speech in Rotherham this afternoon, but not before he had disrupted the PM's big moment

Security removed the protester from Mr Johnson’s speech in Rotherham this afternoon, but not before he had disrupted the PM’s big moment

Remainer demonstrations were also taking place outside the venue where Mr Johnson was speaking this afternoon

Remainer demonstrations were also taking place outside the venue where Mr Johnson was speaking this afternoon 

Mr Johnson inspected some crustaceans today as he toured the market in Doncaster today

Mr Johnson inspected some crustaceans today as he toured the market in Doncaster today

The PM pushed on with his walkabout in Doncaster despite the awkward encounter with a local woman today

The PM pushed on with his walkabout in Doncaster despite the awkward encounter with a local woman today

Irish PM Leo Varadkar (pictured meeting with members of Fine Gael in Cork yesterday) warned that the 'gap is very wide' between the two sides

Irish PM Leo Varadkar (pictured meeting with members of Fine Gael in Cork yesterday) warned that the ‘gap is very wide’ between the two sides

Mr Juncker risked fury yesterday as he claimed British people were only ever ‘part time Europeans’. 

The outgoing president of the European Commission said ‘from the very beginning’ the UK had not been fully committed to the EU. 

He labelled Brexit a ‘tragedy and a failure’ but insisted he was in no way responsible for the current chaos surrounding the UK’s split from Brussels. 

What happens next in the Brexit crisis? 

Here is how the coming weeks could pan out: 

September 14-17: Lib Dem conference takes place in Bournemouth 

September 17: Supreme Court hears case on whether prorogation of Parliament was illegal. 

September 21-25: Labour conference in Brighton 

September 29-October 2: Tory conference takes place in Manchester, with Mr Johnson giving his first keynote speech as leader on the final day. This will be a crucial waypointer on how Brexit talks are going.

October 14: Unless it has already been recalled following the court battle, Parliament is due to return with the Queen’s Speech – the day before Mr Johnson had hoped to hold a snap election.

October 17-18: A crunch EU summit in Brussels, where Mr Johnson has vowed he will try to get a Brexit deal despite Remainers ‘wrecking’ his negotiating position. 

October 19: If there is no Brexit deal by this date Remainer legislation obliges the PM to beg the EU for an extension to avoid No Deal.

October 21: Decisive votes on the Queen’s Speech, which could pave the way for a confidence vote. 

October 31: The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU. 

November/December: An election looks inevitable, but Labour is hinting it might push the date back towards Christmas to humiliate the PM. 

The comments from Mr Juncker came as he prepares to step down from his role in a matter of weeks. 

He will be replaced as the head of the commission by Ursula von der Leyen on November 1 as his five year term comes to an end.  

The PM’s aides have been examining proposals for arrangements that would apply only to Northern Ireland, rather than aligning the whole UK with EU market rules. 

However, DUP leader Arlene Foster has moved to quash the speculation, saying the ‘UK must leave as one nation’.

‘We are keen to see a sensible deal but not one that divides the internal market of the UK,’ she said.

Mr Johnson previously stated that he was seeking a ‘backstop-ectomy’, to remove the controversial provision from the Withdrawal Agreement altogether.

However, the task for the PM was made tougher after Parliament passed a law effectively banning No Deal at the end of October, and refused his call to trigger an early general election.

The latest blueprint being floated would not be the same as the previous Northern Ireland-only backstop floated by Brussels, which was dismissed by Theresa May as something no British PM could accept. 

That would have involved the province staying within the EU’s tax jurisdiction.

Instead, the idea is thought to be a much looser alignment of agricultural and food regulations with Ireland.

Mr Varadkar also moved to hose down the potential compromise this morning.

‘We have always said we would be willing to look at alternative arrangements but what we’re seeing falls far short,’ Mr Varadkar told RTE radio. 

‘We are exploring what is possible. The gap is very wide but we will fight for and work for a deal until the last moment, but not at any cost.’ 

It will be the first meeting between Mr Johnson and Mr Juncker since he entered Downing Street. But sources played down hopes of a ‘breakthrough moment’. 

‘The PM is working hard to get a deal and we have been putting forward ideas but there is a long way to go,’ one senior aide said. 

Mr Johnson insisted he is ‘very hopeful’ of a Brexit deal yesterday, saying the ‘landing space’ for an agreement was becoming clear. 

DUP leader Arlene Foster (pictured at No10 with deputy Nigel Dodds earlier this week) has moved to quash speculation over a watered-down version of the backstop, saying the 'UK must leave as one nation'

DUP leader Arlene Foster (pictured at No10 with deputy Nigel Dodds earlier this week) has moved to quash speculation over a watered-down version of the backstop, saying the ‘UK must leave as one nation’

However, the EU’s chief negotiator swiped that he is still waiting for ‘concrete, legally operational’ ideas from the UK.

And one of his advisers warned there was ‘no reason for optimism’. 

Downing Street sources played down the tough line from the EU side, branding it a ‘negotiating tactic’. 

As well as Mrs Foster, DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson today gave a sharp response to claims the party is about to make a cilmbdown.

‘We will not accept a NI only backstop… It won’t be a backstop by any other name either,’ he told BBC Radio Ulster. 

‘We will not be accepting separate arrangements that cut us off from UK. 

‘The only different arrangements that we will accept for Northern Ireland are those where the Assembly has total scrutiny of any EU legislation, decides it’s in the interests of Northern Ireland, and doesn’t damage our relationship with the UK.

‘In those situations we will consider adopting appropriate legislation if we believe it is to the advantage of industry in Northern Ireland.’

EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured in Brussels yesterday) delivered a thinly-veiled rebuke to Mr Johnson, saying he had yet to see 'concrete proposals'

EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured in Brussels yesterday) delivered a thinly-veiled rebuke to Mr Johnson, saying he had yet to see ‘concrete proposals’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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