Boris Johnson tonight insisted the floundering Tories can beat Labor at the next general election as he tore into Sir Keir Starmer. During an interview with Conservative MP and close ally Nadine Dorries on Talk TV, the former prime minister said slashing taxes is key to victory when the country takes to the polls.
Setting out a blueprint to win the next election, Mr Johnson also said the Tories will need to deliver on Rishi Sunak’s promises.
His successor-but-one set out five key pledges in a new year speech, including halving soaring inflation and tackling Channel migrant crossings.
Mr Johnson, who led the Tories to their biggest landslide in decades in 2019, said voters will “reward” the party for “cutting their taxes and for getting things done that they need done”.
It comes as the latest Techne tracker poll for the Express puts Labor 21 points clear of the Tories.
Hitting out at Sir Keir, the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP insisted the current situation with Labor surging ahead in polling is no comparison to 1997 when Sir Tony Blair wiped out Sir John Major’s Conservatives.
The ex-PM suggested Sir Keir does not have the same momentum Sir Tony had, adding that he “thinks that he’s going to get people to vote Labor just by standing there and doing nothing”.
Mr Johnson told the former culture secretary: “Let me be very clear, the fact is that the Conservative Party can certainly win the next election. Yes, absolutely.
“We’ve got almost two years to go before there has to be an election. You don’t have to have an election until January 2025. So that’s almost two years.
“Hang on and mo. You talk about 1997. I remember… I fought the 1997 election, I was there and I remember what it was like.
“It was really, really tough. You would feel this movement of voters, actively who wanted Tony Blair and that is just not happening now. I don’t feel it.
“Old Sir Crasharooney Snoozefest, the human bollard – Keir Starmer, that is – he thinks that he’s going to get people to vote Labor just by standing there and doing nothing. It’s not going to happen.
“The economy will start to improve, inflation will come down, people will reward the Conservative party, they will reward the Government for being sensible, for cutting their taxes and for getting things done that they need done.
“Fixing the things that Rishi has said that he’s going to fix and never forget when it comes to it, it’s going to be a very clear choice.
“Do you want the Conservatives who are going to manage the economy, not put taxes up any further? In fact, cut taxes. Of course the taxation situation has been very, very difficult because of Covid.
“The huge expense that we had to go to, £480 billion we had to spend on looking after people during Covid, it was massively expensive. It had a big fiscal impact but Labour, everything they say makes it perfectly obvious that the taxes would be even higher.”
It is the latest intervention by Mr Johnson, who was forced out of No 10 in September following a series of scandals including the partygate saga, as speculation of a comeback continues to mount.
Elsewhere during the wide-ranging interview, the former premier dismissed concerns that Vladimir Putin would use nuclear weapons as a result of the west helping to arm Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion.
And he insisted Brexit saved lives in the Covid pandemic by allowing Britain to press ahead with its speedy vaccine rollout.