The chair of Leicester East Labour party has resigned, saying that he “can no longer follow the clown” that leads his party.

Without being too flippant, this could turn the election into a Great British Battle of the Cheeses.

Red Leicester may be best-known as a cheese, but it could also convey the city’s voting record in recent decades.

Leicester East was held by Labour veteran Keith Vaz who polled over 67 per cent in the 2017 snap election. But his would-be successor will have to address the aftermath of the alleged gay sex-and-drugs scandal that saw Vaz bow out in disgrace.

And the East Midlands is a key battleground – the Tories need to snatch a few such city seats to give Boris Johnson a workable Commons majority.

Blue Wensleydale is from a swathe of North Yorkshire which has seven solid Conservative constituencies to Labour’s one, so Boris need not hit that wine-and-cheese electioneering circuit too hard.

But in the world of cheese, ‘blue’ is not always an indication of political allegiance.

Blue Stilton is from the eponymous village just south of Peterborough, currently held by Labour with a tiny majority.

That, too, is a top Tory target as the sitting Labour MP also had to contend with his predecessor going to jail for perverting the course of justice over a speeding fine.

Bath Blue is from near a city which is solidly held by the Lib Dems after a 2017 surge, while Cornish Blue and Exmoor Blue are also in prime Lib Dem stamping grounds.

One big problem for Boris’s Brexit battalions is that the British cheese industry is largely pro-Remain. 

That is hardly surprising as a disproportionate amount of the very best quality British cheese is exported to the EU – for example, almost 40% by volume of the British blue cheese sold by Neal’s Yard Dairy this year was consumed by customers in Europe.

At the very least, British cheese producers want free access and sensible export rules. In other words, a soft Brie-xit.

Meanwhile, the no-score draw seen in the first televised Johnson-Corbyn confrontation provided no lasting change in the opinion polls which put Team Boris well ahead.

But money talks. It was revealed by the Electoral Commission that the Conservatives raised £5.7m in the first week of the official election campaign, while Labour raised a total of £218,500. The Lib Dems received £275,000, whilst the Brexit Party raised £250,000.

The biggest gift to the Tories was £1.5m from theatre producer and regular donor John Gore, while the largest single registered donation to Labour was £62,000 from the Unite union, led by Corbyn ally Len McCluskey.

ROUND 6 SCORE: Tories 6/10

Neals yard dairy cheddar
  • Hard cheese from cow’s milk                                           
  • Appearance: large cylinder in garze
  • Odour: vegetal; cress – mustard seeds
  • Taste and aroma: rich – intense
  • Consistency and structure: mürbe

Neals yard dairy Red Sparten

Cow’s milk cheese of Neals yard Dairy in south narrow country (GB). The orange dough is special. Since the 18th century it is added Annatto to colour the milk. These are the reddish-yellow colourings

Neals yard dairy Stilton
  • Blue cheese from cow’s milk
  • Appearance: high cylinder – fine blue peeling
  • Smell: forest fruits – mushrooms
  • Taste and aroma: intense – spicy – tart aftertaste
  • Consistency and structure: flaky – mürb
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