The Prime Minister defended his decision to call a general election on December 12 and insisted he “had to do it” because “Parliament is blocking Brexit”. During the BBC Question Time show from Sheffield, Mr Johnson was questioned on whether a win for the Tories at the election would give him a mandate for Brexit. Mr Johnson said: “On your point about the reasons for having an election, let’s be in no doubt, I didn’t want to have an election.
“No Prime Minister wants to have an election on December 12.
“We had to do it because Parliament is blocking Brexit.”
The Prime Minister was then quizzed by host Fiona Bruce, who stated he only gave parliament three days to assess his withdrawal agreement bill in the House of Commons.
However Mr Johnson fired back and said MPs has been given “every opportunity to pass it”.
The Prime Minister said: “They were given every opportunity to pass it, and they passed a law to insist that we extended beyond October 31.
“And what we have now is a situation in which the other three party leaders either want to block Brexit or absurdly want to have a second referendum on the EU.
He added: “I think Mr Corbyn’s position appears to have mutated tonight, he is now going to be neutral on the deal that he proposes to do, I don’t see how you can do a deal when he is going to be neutral.
“Never mind that I do not think whatever deal Mr Corbyn proposes, I don’t think it is sensible for this great country of ours to spend next year in yet more delectable disputations about the EU and then another referendum on Scotland, how can that be right for our country.
“I want next year to be a fantastic year for our country, we are a very ambitious one nation conservative Government, we have amazing plans for this country, investing in education, investing in health and thats what we want to get on with and we need to get Brexit done to do it.”
Earlier Mr Corbyn pledged to adopt a “neutral stance” in another EU referendum under Labour as he came under fire from voters during a televised grilling.
Mr Corbyn went first and faced a barrage of tough questioning and groans.
Having been asked how anyone could vote Labour without knowing what outcome he would campaign for, Mr Corbyn said that he would start by negotiating a “credible” Leave deal before he was interrupted by laughing.
He added: “My role and the role of our government will be to ensure that that referendum is held in a fair atmosphere and we will abide by the result of it.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said there was “only one prime minister” – Boris Johnson – on the stage, who he claimed won the debate “hands down”.
Mr Raab said: “If you look at what Jeremy Corbyn said, he would be neutral on the referendum.
“How can you claim to be a leader if you’re neutral on the biggest issue of this election, the biggest issue facing the country?”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Prime Minister gave a “strong performance” and that he was “crystal clear on Brexit”.
Mr Hancock said: “I’m very pleased with that performance and I know for sure, with every fibre of my being, that Jeremy Corbyn’s dithering policy of neutrality on Brexit will go down like a lead balloon on the doorsteps.”