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Boris Johnson visits Suffolk as election campaign gets under way

PUBLISHED: 10:23 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 31 October 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to nurses during a visit to the National Institute for Health Research at the Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Later, he went to a school in Bury St Edmunds  Picture: PA IMAGES

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to nurses during a visit to the National Institute for Health Research at the Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Later, he went to a school in Bury St Edmunds Picture: PA IMAGES

PA Wire/PA Images

Campaigning for the 2019 General Election has started - with Prime Minister Boris Johnson making Suffolk one of his first stops.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to Dr Anna Godfrey, (left) and Dr Sarah Bowdin during a visit to the National Institute for Health Research at the Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Later, he went to a school in Bury St Edmunds   Picture: Alastair Grant/PA IMAGESPrime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to Dr Anna Godfrey, (left) and Dr Sarah Bowdin during a visit to the National Institute for Health Research at the Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Later, he went to a school in Bury St Edmunds Picture: Alastair Grant/PA IMAGES

The Prime Minister's first visit outside London since the election was confirmed saw heading towards a number of sites in the region and in London.

This afternoon at around 2pm, he visited Abbots Green Academy in Bury St Edmunds.

He joined a group of children in an activity sorting pictures of London into past and present.

Mr Johnson held one black and white image aloft and suggested "past?".

One pupil agreed and said it "looks dirtier", to which the Prime Minister replied: "That was when Ken Livingstone was running it."

Referring to a photo of London Bridge, Mr Johnson told the youngsters: "You know what they used to do? They used to stick the decapitated heads of the enemies on spikes."

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He also visited a classroom where children were mummifying pumpkins with salt, and another where they made firework collages.

Earlier, he had been at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Politicians are gearing up for six weeks of campaigning before we go to the polling stations six weeks today - and this region is likely to feature firmly on politicians' radars.

Mr Johnson received a boost today when it emerged that The Brexit Party is considering withdrawing candidates in many seats in a bid to avoid splitting the vote and allowing pro-EU candidates to win.

That could boost the Tories in seats like Ipswich. The Brexit Party is considering concentrating its efforts on some northern working-class seats where the Conservatives have never done well but where there was a substantial Leave vote in the 2016 referendum.

Mr Johnson's visit to the region comes as the Conservatives are expected to unveil new NHS spending in a bid to answer Labour claims that hospitals are under threat of privatisation.

However his campaign has been hit by the decision of Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan not to stand again in December's General Election.

She becomes the latest high-profile Conservative moderate woman MP to leave the House of Commons - after Amber Rudd, Justine Greening, and Mims Davies announced they would be standing down. Former Tory Heidi Allen, who recently joined the Liberal Democrats, is also not standing. All have referenced the level of online abuse suffered by women MPs.

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