London mayor Boris Johnson will use his speech at the Conservative party conference today to lash out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and make the case for Conservative leadership both in City Hall and in Westminster.
Johnson, who is also the MP for Uxbridge and regularly touted as a possible successor to David Cameron, is set to be introduced by Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith, who was selected last week as the Tory candidate to succeed Johnson in City Hall.
Calling London Labour supporters “tankies and trots with interesting vests and militants with vested interests”, Johnson is expected to say that he first ran for mayor because he is “fundamentally opposed” to their “style of politics”.
“They are the people who idolise the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and believe the only problem with socialism is that it has never been properly tried,” Johnson will say, adding: “They have the same ruthless methods as the old colonialists that they purport to despise, in that they believe in divide and rule.
“And of course there is one conflict they relish above all others, and that is economic class war, the irrational belief that you can somehow exalt the poor and the needy by bashing the wealth creators,” he is set to say.
And in what may be seen as a swipe at Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to reconsider the government's proposed cuts to tax credits, Johnson will maintain that the Conservatives will protect the capital’s “hardest working and lowest paid” and promote “hope and aspiration”.
Cameron is under increased pressure to row back on the cuts – estimated to cost low-income families as much as £1,300 per year.