Boris Johnson wafts a kipper on stage as he blasts barmy EU food rules in final Tory leadership hustings

Boris Johnson brandished a kipper on stage last night as he and Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt spoke at the very last of their 16 hustings.

As the duo’s four week-long nationwide tour drew to an end, the frontrunner cracked a series of gags about the plastic-wrapped fish.

2 Johnson waved a Kipper at the final hustingsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Boris claimed EU rules mean it cannot be posted without a plastic ice pillow, in an extra cost burden on smokers.

Using the prop to make a pun on UKIP, Boris told the jumbo Tory crowd at the Excel centre in East London: "We will bring the ‘Kippers back. It’s not a red herring."

Jeremy Hunt meanwhile hit out at Theresa May's hated withdrawal deal – saying it would be "dead" without "profound changes."

He said: "I want to get a deal and so we have got to make some profound changes to that Withdrawal Agreement.

Boris Johnson wafts a kipper on stage as he blasts barmy EU food rules in final Tory leadership hustings2 Jeremy Hunt hit out at May's dead dealCredit: EPA

"That doesn't mean ripping up the whole thing but it does mean the backstop has to go."

The hustings came just hours after the Government was defeated in the House of Lords over a no deal brexit.

A bid to block Parliament being suspended to force through a No Deal Brexit was backed by 272 votes to 149.

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Johnson is currently the favourite to win the Conservative Party leadership and succeed Theresa May as prime minister, but has refused to rule out proroguing parliament to ensure Britain leaves the European Union on October 31.

The question of suspending parliament was raised during a televised debate between Johnson and Hunt, the foreign minister, last week.

While Hunt categorically ruled it out, Johnson said he would “not take anything off the table”.

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