PRIME Minister, Boris Johnson, smashed through a wall of polystyrene bricks at a JCB factory as part of his election campaign last week. The PM took to the wheel of a Union Jack branded JCB backhoe loader in a symbolic gesture meant to illustrate his determination to break the Brexit deadlock ahead of voters heading to the polls last Thursday. But the stunt didn't go entirely to plan as protestors with Extinction Rebellion targeted the Conservative 'battle bus' while the PM visited JCB.
The PM spoke to workers at the new £50million JCB Cab Manufacturing Centre near Uttoxeter while out on the campaign trail.
A white wall emblazoned with the word ‘Gridlock’ had been erected at the factory before Mr Johnson drove through it in the digger, which had the message Get Brexit Done displayed on it.
After he was introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, Mr Johnson addressed more than 400 employees and local Conservative Party members on the shop floor.
He said: “It’s wonderful to be back here at JCB, one of the most amazing companies in this country and the world.
“As we speak, around the world, there are JCBs in every country and in every country in the world there are JCB backhoe loaders and diggers that are currently clearing contaminated sites, moving rubble, unblocking roads and moving fallen pylons.
“I think it is time for the whole country, symbolically, to get in the cab of a JCB, the custard colossus, and remove the current blockage we have in our parliamentary system. That is what we need to do.”
Ahead of the Prime Minister’s speech CEO Graeme Macdonald welcomed guests to the facility. He said: “As a manufacturer approaching its 75th anniversary, JCB continues to invest in the British economy.
“Britain is a great place to do business and this brand new £50 million factory is testament to that.
“With 11 British plants, JCB contributes a huge amount to the national economy.”
However, while the PM was figuratively breaking through the Brexit gridlock, eight members of climate change campaigners, Extinction Rebellion targeted the Conservative ‘battle bus’ outside the factory.
Five were dressed as bees as part of the campaign group’s ‘Bee-yond Politics’ drive.
Three superglued themselves to the front of the bus in a bid to prevent the PM leaving the premises so they could demand answers to questions about tackling climate change.
After votes were cast on Thursday, the PM returned to 10 Downing Street with a much larger majority.
See Page 5 for the election results for the local area.
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