Boris backed Barwell and a big lunch when he joined Conservative campaigners on the road in their fight to keep the Croydon Central constituency.

Armed with posters inspired by Lord Kitchener's World War One call to arms, the Mayor of London met with business owners in Addiscombe and obligingly took selfies with passers-by.

As this was his third election tour of the day – after visits to New Malden and Sutton - his City Hall staff allowed him a lunch break with Gavin Barwell before he headed back to work.

Speaking to Croydon Guardian before he tucked into a huge plate of liver and bacon he said: “With all the MPs that I campaign for, I want all my friends to win.

“In Gavin Barwell is an absolutely outstanding MP and I really hope he makes it in again.

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Boris Johnson was impressed with his liver and bacon lunch

“He really fights for the area, including with the Westfield Hammerson development and me at City Hall and it is down to him that we got the riots funding money spent properly.

“It’s fair to say he played a big role in that and he played a considerable role in the Westfield development, which will bring jobs for young people in this part of the country and will be a real boost to the area.”

Gavin Barwell, who chose fish and chips for lunch, said Mr Johnson’s trip to the borough has been great for the campaign.

He said: “It’s great from a morale point of view to have such a serious big figure from the party backing the campaign and we have also had eight or nine Cabinet ministers here backing it.

“Being a good local MP is being able to work well with people having a position of authority in the area. We have to be able to work with both sides and trying to get the best for the local area."

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Mr Barwell, who is oping to keep the seat he won for the Conservatives in 2010, added: “I think it’s going to be very close race in Croydon Central.”