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A Big Test For Johnson
Boris Johnson was this afternoon forced to race back to Downing Street from his constituency to respond to a suspected terror incident in London Bridge .
A number of people have been injured and a man wearing a hoax device has been shot dead by armed police. Here’s what we know so far.
As crass as it sounds, the attention in Westminster will now be turning to how this may affect the general election campaign.
The 2017 election was of course tragically pockmarked by atrocities in the same part of London and at Manchester Arena, which killed dozens.
At the time, it was thought the attacks could boost Theresa May as an incumbent PM with a record of being tough on security issues, unlike Jeremy Corbyn who had spent the campaign answering questions about his association with groups such as the IRA and Hezbollah.
But the Labour leader took a risk, turning the issue back on to the government by highlighting police cuts and daringly suggesting that Britain was suffering a form of blowback for its foreign policy in the Middle East. It appeared to work and Corbyn of course took May’s majority from her.
For the PM, it will be his first big test responding to a crisis since taking power.
His old sparring partner David Cameron was often at his best in moments like this and he would do well to study his predecessor-but-one.
Johnson may also take some inspiration from his own pitch-perfect response to the Grenfell Tower disaster inquiry - a very different but similarly grave situation.
Now that campaigning has been suspended, as it was in 2017, it is unlikely to return to the pattern it had settled into in recent days. When candidates do take to the trail again, security is certain to be front and centre.
Whatever happens, today’s attack appears to mark a horrible new norm, with terrorist incidents afflicting the last three major democratic events in Britain.
Quote Of The Day
“I want to thank the emergency services and members of the public for their immense bravery in responding to this suspected terrorist attack at London Bridge. This is an appalling incident and all my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
– Boris Johnson tweets his initial response to the attack.
Friday Election Cheat Sheet
Boris Johnson has warned Donald Trump against endorsing him when he visits the UK next week. The prime minister told LBC it was “best... for neither side to be involved in the other’s election campaigns”.
The threat of a no-deal Brexit remains on the table, Boris Johnson has suggested, as he confirmed preparations for an exit to WTO terms will continue if he wins the election. It came as he launched his “Brexit roadmap”, including eye-catching plans to overhaul state aid, in an attempt to win over ex-Labour Leave voters.
Tory candidate Philip Dunne could face a police investigation for an alleged hate crime after saying a Sikh Labour rival was “talking through his turban”. Kuldip Sahota now says he has reported the incident to West Mercia Police and repeated his call for Boris Johnson to suspend Dunne over the comments.
The father of the prime minister has reacted to suggestions his son is a liar by insulting the literacy skills of the great British public. Appearing alongside Joanna Gosling on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Stanley Johnson took umbrage when asked about a comment from a viewer likening his son Boris to Pinocchio.
What I’m Reading
Our fight for right to civil partnership is finally won – Evening Standard .
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.