Boris Johnson last night pledged to give millions of workers a £100 tax cut within weeks if he wins a majority at next Thursday’s General Election.
Setting out a whirlwind schedule for what he hopes will be the first 100 days of a new Tory government, the Prime Minister vowed to fast-track 11 pieces of legislation to deliver on his promises.
He said he would focus on laws to toughen sentences for serious criminals, restrict strikes affecting vital services such as health and transport and ban ‘vexatious’ claims against military veterans.
The PM also said that cross-party talks to agree ‘an enduring solution to the challenge of social care’ would start within his first 100 days. And he pledged a law requiring migrants to pay a £625 surcharge to cover the cost of NHS care.
Setting out a whirlwind schedule for what he hopes will be the first 100 days of a new Tory government, the Prime Minister vowed to fast-track 11 pieces of legislation to deliver on his promises (picture at Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes on Wednesday)
The PM also said that cross-party talks to agree ‘an enduring solution to the challenge of social care’ would start within his first 100 days. And he pledged a law requiring migrants to pay a £625 surcharge to cover the cost of NHS care (pictured at Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes on Wednesday)
The Prime Minister’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds was out canvassing with Tory MP hopeful Zac Goldsmith today (her adopted dog is also pictured)
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford, northeast of London on Wednesday
The PM and the US president posed for the cameras as he arrived at the country house hotel in Hertfordshire where the gathering was held
But Mr Johnson also announced that his new government would hold its first Budget in February. Tory sources confirmed measures would include an increase in the national insurance threshold from £8,632 to £9,500 – delivering a tax cut worth £104 to more than 30million workers.
The Prime Minister also confirmed that Britain would leave the EU on January 31 if he wins a majority next week.
With just a week to go before what Mr Johnson described as ‘the most important election in a generation’, the Prime Minister set out a detailed prospectus for changing Britain. He said his blueprint for power contrasted sharply with that of Jeremy Corbyn, who has pledged to spend his first three months in office negotiating a new Brexit deal before staging a second referendum in which he will sit on the fence.
The Labour leader has also opened the door to a second referendum on Scottish independence, which Nicola Sturgeon has named as her price for putting him into No 10. Mr Johnson said: ‘In just seven days’ time the British people will have to choose between a working majority government or yet another gridlocked hung Parliament. If there is a Conservative majority next week, we will get Brexit done by the end of January. 2020 will then be the year we finally put behind us the arguments and uncertainty over Brexit.
‘We will get Parliament working on the people’s priorities.
‘But if the Conservatives don’t get a majority, then on Friday 13th we will have the nightmare of a hung Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister propped up by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP.
‘Next year will be Groundhog Day in Parliament with MPs arguing every day about the referendum and businesses and families left in limbo, unable to plan their futures.’
Boris Johnson speaks while holding a Greggs sausage roll on the platform of Milton Keynes train station, after a visit at Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes on Wednesday
Mr Johnson tucked into the popular pastry snack after another day election campaigning, with the polling date just over a week away
In an interview with ITV’s Peston show last night, the PM insisted that Brexit would be ‘over’ after January 31, despite the fact the UK will remain aligned with the EU during a transition period lasting until the end of the year.
‘What will happen is that the parliamentary agony will be over, and the political agony will be over, and the misery and tedium and procrastination will be over,’ he said.
Mr Johnson, who has ruled out extending the transition period, suggested it could even be cut, saying: ‘If we choose at any stage from January to come out of the transition period, that is up to us.’
Tory strategists are anxious to drag the political debate back on to the election, following days in which it has been dominated by the fallout from the London Bridge terror attack and Donald Trump at the Nato summit in the UK.
They are also concerned that voters are ‘losing focus’ on the contest following a string of polls giving the Conservatives a substantial lead. A new Ipsos-Mori poll yesterday revealed that, with just a week to go, the NHS has overtaken Brexit as the voters’ top priority – giving Labour hope it can confound the polls in the closing days of the campaign.
The NHS was named as a key issue by 59 per cent of voters, against 56 per cent who wanted action on Brexit.
Mr Johnson checked the event was running to schedule this morning as he welcomed leaders with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg
There was an awkward moment as Mr Trump tried to walk the wrong way off the stage after the welcome
Leaders of Nato alliance countries, and its secretary general, join Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales for a group picture during a reception in Buckingham Palace, London, on Tuesday as they gathered to mark 70 years of the alliance
Footage being widely shared online shows Mr Johnson (centre), Justin Trudeau (left), French president Emmanuel Macron, Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Princess Anne at a reception last night seemingly making fun of Mr Trump
Mr Johnson’s 100-day plan will see Parliament asked to approve a legislative blitz in the New Year, following a Queen’s Speech on December 19.
The EU Withdrawal Act, which enshrines Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal in law, would be brought back to Parliament before Christmas, with MPs asked to push it through in time for the January 31 deadline. Tory sources pointed out that, unlike the last Parliament, all 635 Conservative candidates have pledged to vote for the deal.
Tory sources said that by March 22 the Government would have introduced legislation to prepare the UK for Brexit, including the framework for a points-based immigration system.
Mr Johnson will also legislate to toughen sentences for terrorists and serious violent criminals, along with new laws to end the ‘witch hunt’ against military veterans. And he will pass laws to lock in planned funding increases for health and education.
The increase in the national insurance threshold is viewed as a ‘down payment’ on broader manifesto plans to raise it in line with the income tax threshold at £12,500. This would produce a tax cut totalling £464 per person, but no schedule has been set out for delivering it in full.
There will also be a law requiring unions to keep ‘minimum service levels’ during strikes on vital public services, such as the current dispute on South Western Railways.