Boris Johnson compares 'vindictive' Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin as he kicks off election campaign
Jeremy Corbyn would go after the wealthy with “a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since Stalin” if he wins the general election, Boris Johnson has declared.
The Prime Minister, who will kick off the Conservatives’ election campaign with a speech in the West Midlands, launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Labour leader as he compared him to the brutal Soviet dictator.
And he accused Labour of wanting to “destroy the very basis of this country’s prosperity” with a clampdown on business.
The attack came as Corbyn prepared to contrast his own leadership style with the Prime Minister's by saying he would “hold open the door for others to walk through” if he gained the keys to Number 10.
But, writing in the Telegraph, Johnson tore into the Labour leader as he claimed the Conservatives “don’t sneer” at business.
“We cheer for them: because their success is our success; and the tragedy of the modern Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is that they detest the profit motive so viscerally – and would raise taxes so wantonly – that they would destroy the very basis of this country’s prosperity,” he claimed.
Johnson went on: “They pretend that their hatred is directed only at certain billionaires – and they point their fingers at individuals with a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since Stalin persecuted the kulaks.”
Kulaks were wealthy peasants who were deemed enemies of socialism under Joseph Stalin’s Soviet dictatorship and faced deportation and the expropriation of their land.
The Conservative leader's broadside comes ahead of a speech on Wednesday evening in which he is expected to reiterate his vow to “get Brexit done” and stop MPs "blockading" Britain's EU departure.
Parliament was dissolved at midnight on Tuesday, firing the starting gun on the five-week race for Number 10 and bringing one of the the shortest ever parliamentary sessions to a close.
The Prime Minister will seek an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday before the formal announcement that the election campaign is underway.
Johnson will tell party activists: "It’s time to change the dismal pattern of the last three years and to get out of our rut.
"It’s time to end this debilitating delay. Let’s go with this Conservative government, get Brexit done, and unleash the potential of our great country - delivering on the public’s priorities of our NHS, crime and the cost of living."
And he will claim that Corbyn's "two favourite advisers" are "Dither and Delay", arguing that the Labour leader would kick off "two miserable referendums" next year on Brexit and Scottish independence if he takes power.
At his own campaign event in Telford, Corbyn will present himself as a "very different kind of Prime Minister" who "only seeks power in order to share power".
"Think of it like this: a good leader doesn’t just barge through a door and let it swing back in the faces of those following behind," he will say.
"A good leader holds open the door for others to walk through because everyone has a contribution to make."
The Labour leader will reiterate a string of pledges to slash in-work poverty and food bank use - and argue that his own politics is "about sharing power and wealth with people who don't have a lot of money and don't have friends in high places".
"My job as leader, and my party's job, is to champion those people, and bring about real change," Corbyn will add.