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Not for turning

Johnson says he would 'rather be dead in a ditch' than seek another Brexit extension

The UK Prime Minister said a general election is the ‘only way to get things moving’ on Brexit in a speech today.

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has said that a general election is the only route out of the current Brexit impasse.

During an extraordinary press conference, following a speech to police cadets in Yorkshire this afternoon, the Prime Minister reiterated that he will take the UK out of the European Union on 31 October, saying that he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than seek another Brexit extension from the EU.

police-officer-recruitment-drive-launched PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

“It achieves absolutely nothing. What on earth is the point of further delay,” he added.

The comments come after the House of Commons rejected the government’s plan for a snap general election last night.

Johnson said that the British public must be given the opportunity to decide the fate of Brexit with an election on 15 October and the people must choose between sending him or Jeremy Corbyn to the EU council meeting two days later.

“I don’t want an election at all … But frankly I don’t see any other way,” he said. “It’s the only way to get this thing moving.”

Johnson also faced repeated questions from reporters about his brother Jo’s resignation from politics, which was announced earlier today.

“Jo doesn’t agree with me about the European Union because obviously it’s an issue that, obviously, divides families and divides everybody,” he said.

“But what I think Jo would agree is that we need to get on and sort this thing out.”

police-officer-recruitment-drive-launched PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

During the speech one of the police officers standing behind Johnson stood down. Reports in UK media suggest she was ill. Johnson expressed concern for her well being before winding up the press conference.

Johnson making the speech against the backdrop of the police cadets has drawn criticism from political opponents, including Diane Abbott and Yvette Cooper, who labelled it an “abuse of power”.

“Does he realise this makes him look anything other than strong? I can’t remember a Prime Minister who looked this weak so soon after taking office,” Labour MP David Lammy said.

In the aftermath of the remarkable press conference Northern Ireland minister, Nick Hurd, resigned citing the “ongoing division” over Brexit and a desire to spend more time with his two youngest children.

“I now feel that it is time for me to make a change and embrace a new challenge. After a very great deal of thought, I have decided not to stand again as a candidate at the next general election,” he said.

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