Boris catches the attention of East Anglia in happier times on a day that ended in tragedy

Boris Johnson MP visits Sam Cole Foods fish processing factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where he was c

Boris Johnson MP visits Sam Cole Foods fish processing factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where he was campaigning on behalf of the Vote Leave EU campaign. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

It was a day that ended with a dark turn of events with campaigning suspended after the horrific attack on a Labour MP.

The blows traded by rival camps and jollity of the Johnson campaign circus did not seem appropriate after a colleague was killed on a West Yorkshire street.

After cheers for a speech on the stump at City Hall in Norwich as news filtered through about the attack a visit to a business near Ipswich was cancelled.

But in happier times the former Mayor of London caught the attention of the people of Suffolk and Norfolk, and met many fans, as he crisscrossed the county in his controversial giant red wagon.

They seemed unconcerned with the controversy around the claim we send £350m a week to the European Union emblazoned across the battle bus.


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Of course, the Tory MP - certainly more celebrity than politician - did meet resistance on his travels.

He may have thought that he was on hostile territory immediately after alighting in the Norfolk seaside town of Cromer and heading straight into a newsagent with his leaflets.

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He was greeted by a stanch remain voter who came away from her encounter satisfied after giving the Conservative MP a piece of her mind.

But for the most part, Boris was told that his Vote Leave campaign had their vote.

He arrived in East Anglia as the polls continue to show his campaign is out in front - but was cautious about being too upbeat.

Speaking to him in his bus as we hurtled around the region's country lanes to the next stop, he cautioned: 'It is very close indeed and we are fighting for every vote. We have been the underdogs for a long time and we still are.'

He cited the issues around fishing as the motivation for his visit to the region.

On arrival in the region at 7am yesterday morning he immediately declared 'they're pinching our fish' while posing for photos holding a live lobster.

He then attempted to fillet a salmon at the Sam Cole Food Group in Lowestoft for the benefit of the press pack.

Later suggesting his trip to Lowestoft had been one of his best moments of the campaign, he joked about clauses - or claws - in European Acts.

But it was not all jokes.

When pushed on the concerns about the anti-immigration rhetoric of the leave campaign and the importance of immigration to the region's factories and hospitals, he claimed to be pro-immigration.

'The way to neutralise bigotry and anti-immigration feeling is to say look 'it is about control'. It is about us being in charge of our country again. We want a policy on immigration which is fair and balanced. We don't want parties of extremism on the rise.'

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