Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, launched his campaign for the leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister running on his record as Mayor of London in a speech in the British capital on Wednesday, saying the country should prepare for a no-deal Brexit as a negotiation tool despite not aiming for that outcome.

"Let me be clear that I am not aiming for a no-deal outcome. I don't think that we will end up with any such thing. But it is only responsible to prepare vigorously and seriously for no deal," Johnson said, calling it a "vital tool of negotiation". "It's only if we have the guts and the courage to get ready for it that we will carry any conviction in Brussels and get the deal we need."

The 54-year-old Conservative repeatedly attacked the Labour party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying of Brexit, "Delay means defeat. Delay means Corbyn. Kick the can again and we kick the bucket."

He further said he wished to "protect this country from the red-toothed, red-clawed socialism of today's Labour Party," whom he said was obsessed with Latin American dictators.

"Occasionally, some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I made have used," said Johnson, who is known for incendiary remarks, such as describing veiled Muslim women as letterboxes, or saying Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan was wrapping "a suicide vest around the British constitution."

"One of the reasons why the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed of politicians is because too often they feel we are muffling and veiling our language," he added.

The next general election in the UK is scheduled for May 5, 2022, although it may be called earlier as Theresa May announced her resignation on May 24.

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euronews 23 Sep 2019 01:56 CEST