7 JUNE 2022 | NEWS

The Ukrainian President has come out of in support of the UK Prime Minister after he survived a vote of no confidence carried out by Conservative Party backbenchers last night.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he was “very happy” that Ukraine had not lost an “important ally” after Boris Johnson survived a no confidence vote on Monday evening.

The vote of no confidence was called on Monday morning after at least fifty-four members of the parliamentary Conservative Party sent letters of no confidence to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

Sir Graham is obliged to call a confidence vote in the party leader if at least 15% of the parliamentary party membership writes him a letter asking him to do so.

Boris Johnson won the confidence vote, with 59% or 211 Tory MPs voting for the Mr Johnson, while 148 of his MPs voted against the Prime Minister. It is also rumoured in Westminster that some Cabinet Ministers voted against the Prime Minister’s leadership.

Boris Johnson’s victory means that he cannot face another leadership challenge for a year.

President Zelensky said in an online event that Boris Johnson was a “true friend of Ukraine”.

Boris Johnson was the first foreign leader to visit Ukraine since the ongoing Russian invasion of the country began. The United Kingdom was also one of the first nations to supply Ukraine with money and weapons (although like other Western nations, it will not commit ground troops), as well as imposing sanctions on Russian oligarchs and businesses.

The UK has given over £750 million to Ukraine thus far, while the Government pledged further economic and military support to the country last month, amounting to £1.3 billion. In April, the Prime Minister visited the country personally to extend his support to President Zelensky.

The President of Ukraine called Boris Johnson’s victory “great news” in a conference held by The Financial Times today, saying: ”I’m glad we haven’t lost an important ally – this is great news.”

He said that that Boris Johnson was a “concrete” supporter of his country and a “true friend of Ukraine”.

Following the result, Ministers hailed its impact on the Ukrainian conflict. The Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, said he thought President Zelensky would be “punching the air, because he knows his great ally Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister tomorrow morning”.

Boris Johnson told the Cabinet today that it was time to move on from ‘Partygate’. He said that it was “important because we are able now to draw a line under the issues our opponents want to talk about – and get on with talking about what, I think, the people of this country want to talk about”.

One of the leading Tory rebels, Tobias Ellwood, said of the result that: “41% is a significant chunk of MPs that now need to be included in shaping the party’s future. The conduct over the last couple of days shows there’s a lot of work to be done to unite the party.”

Jonathan is a political reporter and commentator. His interests include philosophy and sociology.

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