Boris Johnson has been urged to moderate his language after comparing  Jeremy Corbyn to the communist dictator Joseph Stalin.

With Parliament dissolved at midnight on Guy Fawkes' Night, the prime minister is heading to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen today.

And then we will return to Downing Street to fire the starting gun on what promises to be the most divisive general election in memory.

Writing in today's Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson compared Labour's policies to Stalin's persecution of the kulaks - in which historians estimate up to five million died.

He is defending a 5,034 majority in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, with Labour candidate Ali Milani, 25, campaigning to win the seat represented by the prime minister since 2015.

"These comments prove that, if there is one seat in this entire election that can change the path we are on, then it is Uxbridge and South Ruislip," said Mr Milani.

"We could send the mother of all messages to Parliament. We are finding, as we knock on doors, people want to see a change and Boris represents everything of that old born-to-rule class."

However, Mr Milani admitted he was 'deeply embarrassed' by anti-Semitic comments he made as a teenager in a series of social media posts.

Mr Johnson's campaign will use these to counter criticism of their candidate in the weeks ahead.

"I've apologised unreservedly. I've tried to be honest and there is no excuse for the comments I made," Mr Milani told Sky News.

"When I talk about this issue, one of the things I try and get across is that, in the environment and community I grew up in, there was not the right level of education.

"This is not an excuse for what I said but we didn't quite understand the historical and social context of the words I used.

"We need to educate people within colleges and schools on every issues of racism."

It would take a swing of just over 5% for Mr Johnson to lose his seat in a constituency that voted 57.9% to leave the European Union.

The Brexit Party, which could split that vote, have yet to reveal their candidate, but the prime minister also faces a challenge from Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon and Mark Keir, the Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates, both campaigning on a strongly pro-EU platform.