Reuters/Guardian News and Media/ London
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to nationalise BT’s network was a “crazed Communist scheme”.
“We are funding a huge programme of investment in our roads, in telecoms, gigabyte broadband, unlike the crazed, crazed Communist scheme that was outlined earlier yesterday,” Johnson told Conservative Party activists.
Johnson, speaking before a campaign bus emblazoned with the slogan “Get Brexit Done”, said delivering Brexit would clear Britain’s arteries.
“It will be something that clears our arteries, it will unblock our system, it will get us back on our feet and able to take advantage of all the things that we want to get from Brexit,” he said.
The Labour party earlier yesterday promised free, fast broadband internet for everyone, in the most eye-catching of a series of big spending pledges ahead of next month’s election.
Labour said it would bring the parts of telecoms giant BT that deal with broadband into public ownership, as part of a sweeping programme of nationalisations.
“The internet has become such a central part of our lives. It opens up opportunities for work, creativity, entertainment and friendship,” said Corbyn.
“What was once a luxury is now an essential utility. That’s why full-fibre broadband must be a public service, bringing communities together, with equal access, in an inclusive and connected society.”
The premier added Labour’s plan would cost “many tens of billions” of taxpayers’ money.
Later speaking on the BBC Breakfast, the prime minister said the “whole potential of this country” can only be realised if Brexit is pushed through.
BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty then challenged the PM on his “Let’s get Brexit done” campaign slogan. Brexit would not be “done” anytime soon, she protested, what with the transition period and second phase of negotiations on the future relationship.
Johnson laid the blame for the delay at parliament’s door and launched a barrage of well-oiled Brexit-related soundbites along the lines of “taking back control”. He said Brexit would “turbo-charge” the one-nation agenda.
Johnson gave an “absolute guarantee” that he would not ask for another Brexit extension.
Asked when he had last used the NHS, the PM said he had gone to Hillingdon hospital after cutting his foot with a piece of glass last year. “Someone dropped a cafetiere. There was music playing. I jumped on a piece of glass and it went straight into my foot,” he said, adding that staff had asked for more funding during his visit.
He said the best way to fund the NHS appropriately was a robust economy, which he said Labour was committed to wreck.
The government would build new hospitals and recruit “thousands” of GPs and nurses, Johnson said.
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