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Thursday 4 July 2019  

Boris Johnson has pledged to reverse Theresa May’s cuts to the police force with an extra £1bn.

“More police on our streets means more people are kept safe,” said Johnson as he unveiled plans to hire an extra 20,000 officers.

Boris has a strong record on law and order. As Mayor of London he oversaw a 20% drop in crime. The murder rate was halved, knife crime dropped by 17%. Compare that to the appalling 52% hike in knife crime under Johnson’s successor, Sadiq Khan.

In a desperate bid to curry favour with the Tory grassroots – particularly in rural areas where Boris wants to put many of his new bobbies – Jeremy Hunt has committed himself to a free vote on Fox hunting “as soon as there’s a majority”.

He made the surprise announcement on a Telegraph podcast before U-turning on the Today programme this morning.

As Hunt – rather ironically – admitted on the podcast himself, “I am not a hunter”. If that’s the case stop pretending you’re a Conservative who “respects British heritage”.

Hunt’s awkward posturing says a lot about the state of British politics: the public values honesty, and the polls show it.

Exhibit A: Nigel Farage topped an Ipsos Mori survey on British leaders, racing ahead on honesty (see above), even more voters believe Nigel understands Britain’s problems. He’s also the least out of touch out of the trio of him, Boris and Hunt.

YouGov have followed up with a landmark poll that puts Labour in fourth place behind the Tories, the Brexit Party and the Lib Dems respectively, a historic low. Jeremy Corbyn’s cynical “constructive ambiguity” strategy is finally catching up with him.

But as Westmonster point out this morning, this is not simply a case of Labour fully committing to a second referendum – Corbyn went mighty close at PMQs yesterday – and regaining support from the inflated Lib Dems. Labour are reliant on Brexiteers. In January, 21% of Leave voters backed Labour, that’s now down to 8%.

Despite sliding to second place, having topped the last three general election polls, the Brexit Party have seen their level of support climb, only not as much as the Conservatives. No doubt Boris’s heightened visibility and impending arrival at Downing Street has reminded voters that the party can become Conservative again.

Bobbies on the beat is a good start, delivering a sovereign Brexit would be a triumph.