'Please leave my town': Boris Johnson berated by members of the public as his election campaign launch goes wrong

'Please leave my town': Boris Johnson berated by members of the public as his election campaign launch goes wrong

September 6, 2019
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unofficial campaign launch got off to a bad start in Yorkshire, England.
  • Johnson was berated by multiple members of the public on a campaign walkabout.
  • One man told him to “please leave my town” while another attacked him for campaigning rather than negotiating with the EU.
  • The prime minister was later criticised for politicising police officers who were instructed to stand behind Johnson during his launch speech.
  • They were left waiting on stage for 40 minutes before the prime minister appeared, leading one officer to almost faint.
  • Questions from the press were dominated by the resignation of his brother from his government on Thursday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Boris Johnson’s unofficial election campaign launch got off to a bad start on Thursday after he was berated by multiple members of the public and a police officer almost fainted during his long-delayed campaign speech.

The prime minister was confronted during a campaign walkabout in Yorkshire, with one man politely asking him to “please leave my town” and another man telling him “You should be in Brussels, negotiating [with the EU].”

The event was originally scheduled by Downing Street to coincide with the start of what they expected to be the beginning of his campaign for the general election, the timing of which was blocked by members of Parliament on Wednesday.

Read more:Boris Johnson’s own brother dramatically quit as an MP and government minister, accusing him of trashing the national interest

Watch Boris Johnson being confronted by members of the public

The exchanges came after a long-delayed speech in front of a stage full of police officers, who were left waiting for the prime minister for around 40 minutes before he appeared, leading to one officer almost fainting on camera behind him by the time Johnson finished speaking.

Questions to the prime minister from journalists at the event were dominated by theresignation of his brother Jo Johnson, who dramatically quit on Thursday while accusing the prime minister of pursuing a Brexit policy that was against the public interest.

Johnson was later criticised by the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, for using them as props for what was a political speech.

“I am surprised that police officers were used as a backdrop for a political speech in this way,” John Apter, chair of the Police Federation said.

“I am sure that on reflection all concerned will agree that this was the wrong decision and it is disappointing that the focus has been taken away from the recruitment of 20,000 officers. This is what we should be talking about – this is what is important.”

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