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Johnson casts net for votes at fish market

Boris Johnson posed for selfies and watched a fish auction as cod and haddock were sold at Grimsby Fish Market.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a fish during a visit to Grimsby Fish Market (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a fish during a visit to Grimsby Fish Market (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor

Boris Johnson has insisted he is “taking nothing for granted” as he launched his final election campaign push in a fish market.

The Conservative Party leader arrived in Grimsby for an early morning market tour and was greeted with cheers and some jokey shouts – along with the smell of fish.

One worker shouted “Boo Boris” while another man could be heard saying: “He brings them out, eh? Phoney bastards.”

Mr Johnson posed for selfies and watched a fish auction as cod and haddock were sold.

He was given the task of placing labels on sold items.

Chatting to workers in the market, Mr Johnson asked: “Are you worried about the Dutch super trawlers?”

The PM was told people are concerned, before he asked: “What’s that one in the Channel, that huge one they had in the Channel?”

He referred to it as a “mega trawler” and also said: “It was sort of hoovering everything up from the sea then.

“How can they check which fish they’re getting? They’re just going to take everything on, clean out the seabed, that’s the problem.”

“Ask the Dutch,” came the reply.

The Prime Minister later held a cod in his arms for the cameras.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Grimsby Fish Market (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Johnson also pulled a box of fish across the warehouse floor, prompting shouts of “Go on Boris” from onlookers.

Speaking to broadcasters, Mr Johnson was asked how confident he was he could scale the “red wall” of Labour as he bids to secure a parliamentary majority – something the polls suggest he is on course to achieve.

He replied: “We’re taking nothing for granted, we’re working very, very hard across the whole country and I think it’s a message of unity of bringing this amazing United Kingdom together.

“If we can get Brexit done then we can move forward with investments in infrastructure, education and technology that will unleash opportunity across the whole country.

“It’s a message that makes sense whether you’re working in the arts and financial services in London or fishing in Grimsby or the arts and financial services in Grimsby.”

Mr Johnson was later booed by Labour activists as he arrived for a North East campaign visit.

A man on a megaphone could be heard saying: “We don’t want Boris in the North East of England.”

The PM was given a tour of Fergusons Transport, near Washington, and shown some tyres.

He had been due to visit a deli in the Bishop Auckland area but the event was cancelled.

A Tory official blamed Labour activists gathering outside the venue for the cancellation and said the decision was taken after receiving security advice.

Asked if he was worried about “left-wing activists” disrupting planned events, Mr Johnson told reporters: “I think we do want to have a kinder, gentler politics, and I’ve noticed in the last few days that Labour activists have been turning up in a pretty concerted and a pretty intimidating way to try to shout and heckle.

“I don’t find this consistent with (Labour leader) Mr Corbyn’s claim to want to take the acrimony and heat out of politics.

“It’s very disappointing and I hope it stops.”

PA

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