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General Election 2019: Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to Rochester called off


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The Prime Minister's planned visit to Rochester has been cancelled for "security reasons".

A crowd of up to 1,000 people - supporters and protesters - had been gathering at Boley Hill, just off the High Street, in anticipation of his arrival.

Crowds gathering for PM's expected visit

But the event has since been called off.

It is understood Mr Johnson had been due to visit the Jolly Knight pub to chat with locals.

He visited the Kent Event Centre in Detling earlier this morning to talk with party members ahead of next week's General Election.

Speaking at the venue, he dismissed a leaked Treasury document showing there will be customs checks between Northern Ireland and Britain after Brexit.

Mr Johnson said: "There will be no checks on goods going from GB to NI and NI to GB because we are going to come out of the EU whole and entire - that was the objective we secured.

"It is a vast improvement on the original proposal, which would have carved out Northern Ireland and kept it in the EU for all sorts of purposes.

Hundreds of supporters and protesters had gathered at Boley Hill
Hundreds of supporters and protesters had gathered at Boley Hill

"It is a fantastic deal that allows us to get out as a whole country and we can move on."

The Prime Minister also played down the prospect of a new hospital in Canterbury, but says government plans for investment in the NHS will benefit the area.

The fate of the hospital has been a dominant issue in the election campaign.

Mr Johnson told KentOnline: "We will be making sure that we invest massively in the NHS and I know that Canterbury is a high priority.

"The only thing that I can say is that it is only under the Conservatives that you are going to get sustained investment.

"There is a big programme of hospital building and rebuilding and it is certainly our intention that Canterbury should benefit from that programme.

"I cannot say particularly what there is coming down the track for Canterbury but I will certainly take it up with Matt Hancock."

Asked why there was no commitment to reintroduce grammar schools in the Conservative Party manifesto, he said: "There are different formulas for different schools and what we are seeing is a general improvement and standards because of the measures that we brought in."

Asked if he felt the party would regain Canterbury, he said: "Well we are fighting hard for every vote and we are going to do to our absolute best."

Crowds gathered in anticipation of the Prime Minister's visit
Crowds gathered in anticipation of the Prime Minister's visit

Mr Johnson has been rallying party members ahead of tonight's TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn, which is being aired from the county town.

The hour-long debate will see the party leaders face questions from the audience, as well as submitted questions.

It has been billed as the last scheduled debate between the two leaders before the country goes to the polls in six days.

For more Kent 2019 General Election coverage click here

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