Boris Johnson urges the UK to let the 'lion roar' in landmark Conservative conference speech

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech on day three of the annual Conservative Party conference on October 3, 2017 in Manchester, England. The Foreign Secretary gave his speech amid continued speculation of cabinet unrest and the leadership fragility of Theresa MayChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

Boris Johnson delivered a rousing speech to the Conservative party conference today (3 October) as part of a bid to emphasise the unity of the cabinet and support for Theresa May.

While the chancellor Philip Hammond spoke at a fringe event, Johnson spoke to a packed Conservative conference hall in Manchester, hoping to inject enthusiasm to the party – which has struggled to build momentum after months of Brexit infighting and general election chaos.

Using notes rather than an autocue, he praised the work of the Foreign Office, voicing his "disgust" at the situation facing the Rohingya people in Myanmar and joking that they were "decoding President Trump to President Juncker".

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He attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn early on in his speech, accusing him of being a "NATO-bashing" and "would-be abolisher of the British army".

Referring to Corbyn's refusal to criticise the government of Venezuela following months of clashes between the Maduro administration and protesters, Johnson said that the Labour leader was "Caracas [crackers]".

He suggested that Corbyn and his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell wanted want a "Britain where everyone works for the government".

He commended Theresa May's speech after a difficult general election that saw the Tories lose their parliamentary majority. He mentioned the "Florence speech on whose every syllable, I can tell you the whole cabinet is united."

One of the largest cheers came when he called upon people to be "bold" on Brexit, which he said was not a "plague of boils".

Johnson has come under fire for writing high-profile articles and comments about how the Brexit process should be working, and will have hoped that this speech can calm some of the worries over dissent in the party.

He criticised those who talked down Britain's chances in the world in a post-Brexit world and urged people to "believe in a global Britain".

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He drew cheers when he attacked his successor as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, saying that London was performing well "even if the new mayor isn't a patch on the last guy".

The speech was an injection of enthusiasm at what has been a bleak party conference so far. Drawing laughs a huge cheers, the speech should be enough to calm what have been stormy waters in recent weeks.

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