Boris Johnson has launched his bid for the Tory crown with a promise to end the “morass” over Brexit.
The former foreign secretary insisted that it is essential that Britain finally leaves the EU at the end of October to prevent the mood of “disillusion, even despair” in the country from spreading.
He warned failure that to honour the referendum vote risked handing power to Jeremy Corbyn and Labour at the next general election.
“After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31,” he said.
“Delay means defeat. Delay means Corbyn. Kick the can and we kick the bucket.”
His launch took place as a cross-party alliance of MPs prepared a fresh attempt to use Commons procedure to block a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnson said: “We cannot ignore the morass at Westminster where parties have entered a yellow box junction, unable to move forward or back, while around the country there is a mood of disillusion, even despair, at our ability to get things done.
“The longer it goes on, the worst the risk that there will be serious contamination and loss of confidence, because the people of this country deserve the best from their leader.”