Boris Johnson will today insist it is time to pull Britain “out of our rut” and get Brexit done as he prepares to make his first campaign visit to Scotland this week.

The Prime Minister at the Conservatives’ election launch rally in the Midlands this evening will warn that a vote for the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens or the Brexit Party would be an effective “vote for Corbyn” and risk putting the Labour leader in Downing St.

With three rows engulfing the Tory Government at the start of the December 12 election campaign, Mr Johnson will try to refocus attention on Brexit and his “people’s priorities” of health, education and fighting crime as he is expected to make a campaign trip to the north-east of Scotland on Thursday to help shore up the vote in an area where his party is defending a number of SNP target seats.

As Minister for the Union, Mr Johnson is expected to make at least three campaign trips north of the border, where the party is defending 13 seats with the main challenger in everyone being the Nationalists.

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Today, the PM is due to head to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen before returning to Downing Street to announce the formal start of the General Election following the dissolution of Parliament.

He is expected to say: “There is only one way to get Brexit done and I am afraid the answer is to ask the people to change this blockading Parliament.

“No Prime Minister wants an early election, especially not in December. But as things stand we simply have no choice because it is only by getting Brexit done in the next few weeks that we can focus on all the priorities of the British people.”

Mr Johnson will add: “It’s time to change the dismal pattern of the last three years and to get out of our rut. It’s time to end this debilitating delay. Let’s go with this Conservative Government, get Brexit done, and unleash the potential of our great country; delivering on the public’s priorities of our NHS, crime and the cost of living.

“The alternative is clear: Jeremy Corbyn and his two favourite advisers, Dither and Delay, turning 2020 into the year of two miserable referendums, one on the EU, and another on Scotland.

“And, remember, that a vote for any other minor party is effectively a vote for Corbyn and his catastrophic political and economic programme.”

His comments come as Philip Hammond announced “with great sadness” that he was standing down as the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge in Surrey and would not contest the election.

The former Chancellor, who had the whip removed by Mr Johnson after voting to block a no-deal Brexit, insisted he remained a Conservative and so could not stand in a direct challenge “to the party I have supported all my adult life".

Asked if he wanted to pay tribute to the former Cabinet minister, Nigel Farage said: "Not really. He's a fraud. He was elected in 2017 on a manifesto to respect the result of the referendum and over the past few years he has undermined it in every single way he could. It's that kind of dishonest politics that we want to see the back of."

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Last night, the Government found itself under serious pressure on three fronts.

*Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, was forced to issue a “profound apology” after suggesting victims of the Grenfell fire tragedy should have used "common sense" and ignored fire service advice not to leave the burning tower block.

*Labour called for the resignation of Alun Cairns, the Welsh Secretary, after it accused him of “brazenly lying” about his knowledge of an allegation that a Conservative candidate had sabotaged a rape trial.

*Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, denied No 10 was in the grip of a "Kremlin mole" after MPs demanded a report into alleged Russian interference of the UK democratic process be published. The Government insisted “due process” was being followed but Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, last night said: “We cannot have a situation in which a Committee of Parliament is not able to share its findings with Parliament and the wider public.”

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn will today pledge to end "in-work poverty" and the need for food banks if Labour gained power.

In a speech in Telford, Shropshire, the Labour leader will say his party would deliver "real change" and that he would be a "very different kind of Prime Minister," who "only seeks power to share power".

Elsewhere, the Greens will also launch their campaign today in Bristol in what they termed “the climate election,” promising to invest £100 billion in climate action a year for the next decade and aiming to make Britain carbon neutral by 2030.