Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson was accused of leading ‘Project Hate’ tonight in a fiery EU debate at Wembley Arena.
In a feisty clash in front of an audience of 12,000 people, London Mayor Sadiq Khan blasted his Tory predecessor for the tone of the Vote Leave campaign on immigration.
Holding up a Vote Leave poster in which the countries of Iraq and Syria were highlighted, Khan told Johnson he should be “ashamed” of the campaign.
In the final televised debate ahead of Thursday’s vote, it was the 'Remain' team of Khan, Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson and TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady who took the fight to the 'Leave' team of Johnson, Tory minister Andrea Leadsom and Labour’s Gisela Stuart.
During the debate, Khan wasted no time in attacking Johnson’s claim of being pro-immigration.
He said: “Boris, you might start off with platitudes about immigration but your campaign hasn't been Project Fear, it's been Project Hate as far as immigration is concerned.
Holding up a copy of the leaflet, Khan continued: “You are telling lies and you are scaring people because you have used taxpayers' money to put out an election leaflet that says Turkey is set to join, and there's a map, and there's a map.
"This map shows in red, Turkey, but the only countries named in this map are Syria and Iraq.
"That's scaremongering, Boris, and you should be ashamed.”
The star of the debate from the Remain side was undoubtedly Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader who has led her party to second-place in the country.
She piled into Johnson, a man who she had previously accused of having a "bumble-bluster, kitten smirk, tangent-bombast routine".
Davidson also attacked Johnson for saying there “might or might not” be job losses.
“That is not good enough,” she told him. “That is not good enough.”
But the former London mayor accused her of trying to scare people. “It hasn’t taken them long,” he said. “They begun by telling us they were going to have positive patriotic case, but they are back to Project Fear.:
But Davidson hit back. She told Johnson that “wanting to protect British jobs is positive”.
On the Leave side, Johnson seemed to render Khan speechless as he quizzed the Labour politician on the supremacy of EU law over the UK.
He said: "I'll give you one statistic - they go on and on about the Single Market, let me tell you...there have been 27 other countries not in the EU that have done better than the UK in exporting goods into the Single Market, there have been 21 countries that have done better at exporting services...the best place for us is to be out of this morass...I think Sadiq Khan is completely wrong, the European Court of Justice is the supreme legal authority in our country - and he knows that because he's a lawyer - deny it! deny it!"
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more