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Johnson makes final campaign push as polls suggest election race is tightening

The Prime Minister started his day by helping load milk and orange juice bottles onto a delivery vehicle in West Yorkshire.

Boris Johnson loads a crate onto a delivery van (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Boris Johnson loads a crate onto a delivery van (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Richard Wheeler, PA Parliamentary Editor

Boris Johnson played the role of milkman as his stunt-laden campaign tour entered its final hours.

The Prime Minister started his day by helping load milk and orange juice bottles onto a delivery vehicle at Greenside Farm Business Park in Rawdon, West Yorkshire.

He then travelled to Guiseley where he delivered a crate of items to one house.

Two bottles of milk already outside the property were removed before the Conservative Party leader arrived.

He knocked on the door, which was opened by civil servant Debbie Monaghan, 40, who said: “Look who’s here.”

She called to her husband Mark, 40, and said: “So nice to meet you, Mr Prime Minister.

“What are you doing up so early?”

Mr Johnson said he was delivering milk, orange juice, washing up liquid and other things.

“I hope it’s eco-friendly that washing up liquid,” remarked Mrs Monaghan.

Mr Johnson replied: “All eco-friendly.”

He then reiterated campaign pledges, with Mrs Monaghan describing her husband as the “Brexit exit man”.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers milk to Debbie Monaghan in Guiseley, ahead of Thursday’s General Election (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Monaghan, who works for Northern Powergrid, told the PA news agency: “It’s a surprise.

“It’s very early, I assume he’s travelled a long way but I’m going to vote Conservative so I’m quite pleased.”

Mr Johnson has previously driven a JCB digger through a polystyrene wall, made rock in Blackpool, played football, changed a wheel on a Formula One car and done various other activities in a series of election events.

He was earlier asked about the narrowing polls, to which he replied to broadcasters: “This could not be more critical, it could not be tighter – I just say to everybody the risk is very real that we could tomorrow be going into another hung parliament.

“That’s more drift, more dither, more delay, more paralysis for this country.”

Pressed on whether he was nervous, Mr Johnson replied: “We’re fighting for every vote.”

Mr Johnson’s final day of campaigning sees him zig-zag across the country before concluding with a rally for Tory activists.

In Derby, Mr Johnson put a pastry top on a beef and ale pie before it was placed in an oven during a visit to a catering firm.

The PM then pulled out a separate pie that had already cooked for 20 minutes, to which he had made no contribution.

He said: “This is the oven-ready pie, this is a perfect metaphor for what we’re going to do in the run-up to Christmas if we can get a working majority, we have a deal, it’s ready to go.

“You saw how easy it is, we put it in, slam it in the oven, take it out and there it is – get Brexit done.”

He took a 40-minute flight to South Wales from East Midlands Airport, where his day took a festive turn during a visit to a firm said to be the Queen’s Christmas cracker supplier.

Mr Johnson helped box up rolls of wrapping paper before joining staff at IG Design Group in pulling crackers.

The PM read out the joke in one of the crackers, asking: “What can you make that cannot be seen? The answer is a noise.”

The noise of laughter was not heard, so the PM added: “What can you get done by Christmas? Brexit.”

Some laughter was heard at this point, with Mr Johnson commending those who got the “right answer”.

Discarded on the floor nearby was another of the pieces of paper from a cracker, which had as its charade the movie The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Mr Johnson flew from Cardiff to Southend to knock on Tory-friendly doors in Benfleet, Essex.

He stood on a wall and used a mallet to hammer a pro-Brexit sign in to the front garden of Jack and Daphne McNulty.

Mr and Mrs McNulty were willing participants in the stunt which came as the PM knocked on doors in Hall Farm Road.

Mr McNulty, 91, told Mr Johnson “your hands are cold” as they exchanged a few words, while 89-year-old Mrs McNulty told the PA news agency: “He came across in just those few seconds as a very warm man.”

Docker Darren Close, 50, and his greyhound Beau also met Mr Johnson during his short visit to the Castle Point constituency.

Mr Close said: “We’re quite surprised he’s come here because I would have thought this was quite a good area for the Conservatives – it was quite a nice surprise to see him.”

He said he was planning to vote Tory, adding: “The problem you have is some of the things you hear from the other parties seem very extreme and at the moment I really do think it’s probably the better the devil you know, and at the end of the day we did also vote for Brexit and that’s a key factor and he seems to be pushing that forward.”

PA

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