London mayor Boris Johnson hits out at party rivals during Chester visit

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

LONDON mayor Boris Johnson has likened Labour's links with comedian Russell Brand to Russia's royals seeking advice from mystical faith healer Rasputin 100 years ago.

The quip was made during a speech at the Cross in Chester city centre today – and was met with cheers and laughter from the Conservative Party faithful who had gathered in droves.

Mr Johnson urged people to vote for Conservative candidate Stephen Mosley, saying the country could be set back decades under a Labour-led government.

However, he failed to secure the support of several homeless people with whom he shook hands, and then proceeded to tell them about a homeless initiative in the capital.

Daniel Wills, 23, said: “He said 'we've got No Second Night Out' in London. But what use is that? We're not in London, we're in Chester. I certainly wouldn't vote for him.”

No Second Night Out is a scheme that aims to help those who find themselves rough sleeping on the streets of London for the first time.

Dale Nimmo, 18, added: “I wasn't convinced.”

During his speech, Mr Johnson said the mood in Chester was even more positive than on his previous visit, a month ago.

“We are on the verge of winning what is the most important and closely contested elections in modern times against the most left-wing Labour leader we've ever seen,” he shouted.

He described the interview of Labour's Ed Miliband by Russell Brand as “one of the most absurd political spectacles the country has ever seen”, comparing the situation to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife seeking help from Grigori Rasputin.

“What total nonsense it was,” he added. “The sort of thing only a desperate man would do.”

He said the region had benefited from 190,000 new jobs and 60,000 new businesses since the Conservative-led coalition government came to power.

“What we need now is another five years to take that progress on,” Mr Johnson said.

Labour would take the country back to a “version of the 1970s”, while UKIP would take it back to a “mythical part of the 1950s or 1930s”. The Green Party would return the UK to “somewhere in the middle of the Stone Age”, he said.

To cheers of “Boris, Boris”, he added: “It's only the Conservatives that understand you have to have a strong economy.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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