BORIS Johnson is making his bid to turn Bolton blue, claiming that funding for trams in the area will definitely be granted despite doubts from regional leaders.

In an exclusive interview with The Bolton News, the Prime Minister was challenged on some of the most important issues for voters in the region.

Mr Johnson confirmed the government's promise of money to connect Bolton to Greater Manchester's tram system would indeed be granted. The claim comes after Mayor Andy Burnham hit back at the pledge, saying voters should take any tram pledges with a 'large pinch of salt'.

Asked if he could make any assurances that the project would go ahead, Mr Johnson said: "I've talked to Grant Schapps about this and we are determined to fund it."

READ MORE: Here's what all the main party leaders had to say to Bolton voters:

BORIS JOHNSON: Prime Minister on promises of trams, tampons and winning trust in Bolton

JOHN MCDONNELL: 'Labour will bring power and cash to Bolton'

NIGEL FARAGE: 'Only we can beat dangerous Remainer Labour in Bolton'

JO SWINSON: 'Lib Dems will cut taxes for Bolton businesses'

SIAN BERRY: Green Party co-leader says next 10 years the most important in our history

Last week, the Tories promised £4.2bn in transport funding, to be split between eight spots across the country in the event of an election victory. The party said it 'expected' the money to be used for a tram line from Manchester to Bolton, a long-held dream for residents in the constituencies being fought tooth and nail for by the Conservatives.

But when pressed, the Prime Minister admitted that getting a tram in Bolton would not be as simple as that. Instead, the money handed out would be devolved — the choice of how to spend is not wholly theirs to make.

He said: "The £4.2bn that we are making available is for Bolton to decide. The cash is there but it's really up to local people to lead us in Bolton and Andy Burnham to decide whether they want this to proceed. But the view of the Department for Transport, Grant Schapps and myself is that this is a good project and we are keen to support it."

The mayor expressed serious concerns that one eighth of the £4.2bn, a fair share of the funding for Bolton, would not come close to covering a brand new tram line to the town.

But as far as Mr Johnson is concerned, "the money certainly will be made available" under a Tory government.

The conversation turned to other Tory economic promises revealed in weeks spent campaigning, pertinent for a town that has child poverty rates tipping over 50 per cent in wards like Halliwell, Great Lever and Harper Green.

In the final televised debate between the Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Johnson professed that 'getting Brexit done' would free up parliament to look at other concerns. Specifically, scrapping the 5 per cent tax rate on sanitary products. The 'tampon tax' sees tampons and sanitary pads taxed a luxury items, rather than essentials which are tax exempt, including men's razors.

But when amendments to start the process of changing that rule have come before parliament, they have been voted down — including by Mr Johnson himself in 2015.

The Bolton News asked what was different for the Prime Minister this time, he said: "The UK can't do it because we're not allowed to under EU rules, but you can once we come out of the EU."

In 2015, parliament voted for an amendment to the Government Finance Bill that would have forced officials to open negotiations with the European Union on the five per cent tax on tampons and sanitary products. Mr Johnson voted against the motion.

Asked again why parliament would change the rate when it had not in the past, he retorted that previous efforts to change this tax were 'meaningless'.

Mr Johnson said: "It's meaningless, EU single market law won't allow you to do it. Once we've got Brexit done and we're out of the EU, we can take back control of our entire legislative process including VAT, animal welfare, free ports, our immigration system — we can do things differently."

But it's not just Mr Johnson who wants to 'do things differently'. Muslim voters in Bolton have called for answers from the leader, expressing concerns around the language he has personally used about the Muslim community.

Bolton's Muslim community will be going to the polls on Thursday, here's what the Prime Minister had to say on why they should put their trust in the party with an 'institutional Islamophobia' problem, as dubbed by high ranking members themselves.

"We want to protect everybody from attacks, particularly Muslims and make sure that they do not experience racial discrimination. I am very proud of my Muslim heritage myself and want to ensure that we have a country that it open, welcoming and where there is no prejudice against Islam or Muslims of any kind.

"I won't tolerate that in the Conservative Party and we are setting up an independent inquiry into Islamophobia, antisemitism and every type of prejudice to root it out and kick out, and we'll kick out those who are doing it, first time."

The Labour Party has set up its own inquiry, investigating solely on antisemitism. Asked why the Tories have not focused their inquiry on Islamophobia in the same way, Mr Johnson said: "We're having a general inquiry that will look into all manner of prejudice and we see no reason to discriminate."

As leaders rush to win hearts and minds in the North West in the countdown to Thursday, voters will take up their position as judge, jury and executioner over the parties' promises for Bolton.