Campaign highlights: Johnson hits the phones while Coogan helps Lib Dems

It wasn’t quiet Christmas bells ringing when Boris Johnson and other members of his Cabinet joined the phone banks in a bid to drum up support at Conservative Campaign Headquarters on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, actor Steve Coogan canvassed in Lewes with Liberal Democrat candidate Oliver Henman and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was at Bangor University to address a Welsh members’ rally.

Here are some of the highlights:

 – Tories reveal plan for post-Brexit border control

Ending free movement was at the front of many Leave voters’ minds when making their decision at the 2016 referendum.

Boris Johnson has revealed his plans for controlling Britain’s borders after Brexit and it is good news for the wealthiest investors, entrepreneurs and award-winning workers from abroad.

They will enjoy fast-tracked visas and be allowed to establish themselves in Britain without having a prior job offer.

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals will also be fast-tracked and given discounted visa fees as part of the new Australian-style points-based system for immigration.

– Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson smoked marijuana at university – and it was more than once

General Election 2019
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson on the General Election campaign trail (Danny Lawson/PA)

Asked what the naughtiest thing she had done was, Ms Swinson told PA news agency: “I did smoke a fair bit of cannabis at university.”

Pressed to define a “fair bit” of cannabis, Ms Swinson said: “It wasn’t just one, and I did inhale.”

– PM broke rules of the road

Also feeling in a confessional mood, the Prime Minister – after much wracking of his brain – said riding his bicycle on the pavement was his “naughtiest” deed.

“I think I may sometimes, how can I put this, I may sometimes when I was riding a bicycle every day – which I used to do – I may sometimes have not always obeyed the law about cycling on the pavement,” Mr Johnson told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

– Anti-Semitism could cost Labour the election

Labour has been dogged by criticism of its handling of anti-Semitism within its ranks in recent years, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the backlash could impact on its chances of winning power on polling day.

Mr McDonnell told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme there were only “a small number” of anti-Semites in the party, but said he did “worry” the crisis could scupper Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to be prime minister.

– Let’s get tactical, urges brains behind Alan Partridge

General Election 2019
Actor Steve Coogan canvassing in Lewes (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Comedian Steve Coogan – the man behind the Alan Partridge character and a self-dubbed “traditional Labour supporter” – has joined in with the celebrity tactical voting push.

Hugh Grant, Love Actually’s on-screen prime minister, was out last week campaigning in marginal seats and urging people to vote tactically to prevent Mr Johnson from securing a Commons majority.

Following his lead, Mr Coogan was in Lewes in East Sussex – a seat won by Tory Maria Caulfied in 2017 – pleading for people to “vote smart and box clever” to keep the Conservatives out of power.

Tweet of the day

Can puppy power push Mr Johnson to victory on Thursday?

Picture of the day

General Election 2019
He might be too young to vote, but Noa Williams Roberts was trying to keep his fingers crossed for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a rally in Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

Video of the day

Boris Johnson dials in for a stint on the phone banks at CCHQ.

What’s next?

  • Boris Johnson will make campaign visits to the east of England, the North East and South West.
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will also be campaigning in the South West, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell will give a speech on the economy in London.
  • Liberal Democrat deputy leader Sir Ed Davey will be canvassing for votes in Guildford.
  • In Scotland, Tory leader Jackson Carlaw will launch an ad van in Newton Mearns, while Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie and Ross, Skye & Lochaber candidate Craig Harrow will visit the Wester Ross salmon fisheries processing centre.
  • And Deputy First Minister John Swinney will join SNP candidate Laura Mitchell on a visit to Walkers Shortbread in Aberlour.

 

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