Nadhim Zahawi says Boris Johnson won’t make comeback as PM
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Boris Johnson is set to visit Ukraine in the coming weeks in an attempt to shore up support for Kyiv. The Uxbridge & South Ruislip MP wants to put pressure on Western nations to continue to make military and humanitarian contributions to the ex-Soviet state.
Mr Johnson believes that support for Ukraine is one of his key legacies from his time in office and is keen to reinforce this message from the backbenches, a report has claimed.
According to The Times, the former London Mayor is considering setting up a foundation to campaign for Ukraine.
He also believes that a Ukrainian victory is “the only way forward” in terms of checking Russian expansionism.
Mr Johnson is a popular figure in Ukraine, even having a street named after him in the town of Fontanka on the outskirts of Odessa.
The former Foreign Secretary will only travel to Kyiv with the permission of the Government in what would be his fourth visit to the Ukrainian capital.
According to The Times, a friend of Mr Johnson said that he will go to Ukraine “imminently”.
During the trip, the 58-year-old will receive taxpayer-funded security based on the perceived threat.
However, Toy MP and chairman of the defence select committee Tobias Ellwood said Mr Johnson should “not interfere” with the official relationship between London and Kyiv.
Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Ellwood said that it was important Mr Johnson made it clear that he supported the official Downing Street position on Ukraine rather than engaging in his own form of freelance diplomacy.
He said: “Any senior visitor from the west will, of course, be welcomed by Kyiv, not least a former premier who pioneered UK’s military assistance to Ukraine from the start.
“But Russia’s ability to endure hardship is greater than the west. Putin is retooling his industries to help the war effort and mobilising further thousands for a major spring offensive.
“This conflict is far from over. Boris should leave no doubt that he fully supports Number 10 and his visit should not interfere with the messaging or the official lines of communication between London and Kyiv.”
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It comes as Mr Johnson continues to be embroiled in scandal and controversy months after he left office.
In recent days, there have been claims that Mr Johnson boasted that one of his lockdown-breaking parties in 2020 was the “most unsocially distanced party” at a time when strict social distancing guidelines were in place.
According to The Daily Mirror, Mr Johnson is currently living in the £20million central London home of a Tory donor, with critics arguing he may not have declared the full value of the gift.
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