Chancellor seeking to get on the front foot after a bruising few days for the Tories
Sajid Javid will compare Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to “anti-vaxxers” who refuse to listen to the experts over the economy.
In his first appearance on the campaign trail, the chancellor will liken his Labour rivals to those who oppose immunisation, claiming they could heal the country but would prefer it “sick and unhealthy again”.
Mr Javid will seek to get on the front foot after a bruising few days for the Tories, which saw Welsh secretary Alun Cairns forced to resign and a damaging row over Jacob Rees-Mogg’s misjudged comments on the Grenfell Tower fire.
In a speech in Manchester, Mr Javid will say the economy has “confounded expectations” over the past nine years and warn voters that Labour’s “fantasy economics” with wreck the economy.
It comes as his Labour rival, Mr McDonnell, was expected to promise that “power is coming home” to working people in his first major speech of the election campaign in Merseyside.
The clash of the chancellors comes after Boris Johnson officially kicked off the election campaign on Wednesday under the cloud of Mr Cairns’ resignation over claims he knew his former aide had played a role in the collapse of a rape trial.
It also comes after the government was forced to drop plans to use official Treasury costings of Labour policies following an intervention from the cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill.
Mr Javid will seek to turn his fire on Labour, saying: “It’s easy to poke fun at Comrade Corbyn and his fantasy economics but this is a close election and I am taking nothing for granted.”
He will add: “Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are like the anti-vaxxers of economic policy.
“Not only did they reject the treatment needed to heal our economy and get the deficit down by four-fifths.
“They now want to take every step imaginable to make the country sick and unhealthy again.
“There are serious consequences to these fantasy economics.”
On Thursday, Mr Johnson will head to Scotland to bolster his party north of the border, whose fortunes have been weakened by the departure of the popular Scottish leader, Ruth Davidson.
Speaking ahead of his visit, he said: “A vote for the Scottish Conservatives is a vote to stop a second independence referendum and to get Brexit done so we can spend 2020 taking back control of our fishing waters, getting a fairer deal for our farmers, and investing in public services to give people better healthcare and better education.
“The other choice is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn who would spend next year dancing to the SNP’s tune, wasting the year with two divisive referendums – one on the EU and one to give up on our union.”