Boris Johnson says his frustration over delaying Brexit has left him wanting to “chew my own tie” as he launched his party’s election campaign under the shadow of a Cabinet resignation.
The Prime Minister, speaking outside Number 10 following an audience with the Queen at which she agreed to dissolve Parliament, said he did not want an early election but that MPs were refusing to deliver Brexit.
His speech was delayed by the resignation of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who was accused of “brazenly lying” about his knowledge of an allegation that a Tory candidate had sabotaged a rape trial.
Mr Johnson said: “I want you to know of course it that I don’t want an early election and no one much wants to have an election in December, but we’ve got to the stage where we have no choice because our parliament is paralysed, it’s been stuck in a rut for three and a half years.
“And I’m afraid our MPs are just refusing, time and again to deliver Brexit and honour the mandate of the people.
“I can tell you, I’ve got to the stage where I’ve been wanting to chew my own tie in frustration because, in a sense, we’re so nearly there.
“We’ve got a deal, oven ready, by which we can leave the EU in just a few weeks.”