Boris Johnson clearly believes that his biggest enemy in this election campaign is complacency.

With the polls tightening, the Conservative leader squeezed in an extra campaign visit to Salisbury just hours before the Nato summit kicked off.

Speaking at a veterans' rehab centre, Mr Johnson told journalists: "This election is going to go to the wire." He added: "There are nine days to go, it is a very, very tight election and the choice is critical."

Asked what he's been doing to relax, the PM refused to answer in case it gives the impression he is slacking off - although he did claim to indulge in "quadratic equations and pre-Socratic philosophy" before clarifying that it was a joke.

But he firmly denied being "knackered", bellowing: "I'm fit as a butcher's dog! I'm like a coiled... something or other... a coiled spring!" And he hit back at claims the election is taking a toll on the public, telling reporters: "I'm not the artist, I'm merely the subject - it is for you to apply the rich chiaroscuro to your canvas."

Mr Johnson had a warm reception in true-blue Salisbury where he toured the Christmas market, picking up a pack of pork-and-pepper sausages from the local butcher and home-baked brownies from a street stall. Several passers-by gave him words of encouragement.

But there was protest too, with one person shouting "vote Labour" and a Remain supporting pensioner telling the Prime Minister: "Shame on you."

The choice of Salisbury for the trip was calculated to remind voters of the Russian chemical attack there, and to recall Jeremy Corbyn's response, given the controversy sparked by the Labour leader's initial reluctance to point the finger at Vladimir Putin.

It was also designed to dispel claims Mr Johnson has dodged scrutiny during the election campaign.

"I'm the first prime minister to have done a head-to-head TV debate," he said. "I did the Question Time thing, I've done hours and hours of phone-ins. I think I've fielded more questions from press conferences than other leaders standing at the election. I don't think I have been unscrutinised.

"As Socrates said, the unscrutinised life is not the life of a man." But will he submit to a grilling from BBC attack dog Andrew Neil? Still no answer.

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