Boris Johnson seeks to focus U.K election on Brexit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled on Friday to move Britain's election debate away from questions about his character and onto Brexit, promising to bolster protection for British businesses and farmers once the country has left the European Union.

Johnson tried to brush aside criticism of his past comments about single mothers and his current refusal to submit to the same amount of televised scrutiny as other party leaders.

At a news conference, Johnson claimed Brexit had been "delayed, diluted, denied" by obstructive politicians.

He said that if the Conservatives won the December 12 election he would take the U.K out of the European Union on the currently scheduled date of January 31, so that "we can finally move on as a country."

He touted the alleged benefits that would come with departure from the 28-nation trade bloc, saying his government would introduce new state-aid rules allowing the government to step in to help struggling businesses.