Why I took a Ukrainian refugee into my home

As prime minister, I will step up to lead the West’s response to Putin’s brutal aggression.

Conservative Party leadership contender Penny Mordaunt during the Channel 4 debate on July 15
Conservative Party leadership contender Penny Mordaunt during the Channel 4 debate on July 15 CREDIT: Victoria Jones/PA

Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine shocked the world. But it has galvanised us too. As prime minister, I will step up to lead the West’s response to this brutal aggression and make sure that our Ukrainian friends will ultimately achieve their freedom. As PM I will always stand up to bullies.

Like thousands of others, I have welcomed a Ukrainian refugee into my own home in recent months. For me, a steadfast and unwavering commitment isn’t just political it is also personal.

Over recent months the people of this country have stepped up to support Ukraine too – my team in Portsmouth worked with the Ukrainian Embassy and the Centre of the Civil Society to launch a kit campaign appealing to people and local businesses. I have seen first hand the generosity of spirit of our nation.

Taking a lead in backing Ukraine has been one of Boris Johnson’s greatest legacies. I will continue that leadership, and there will be no question of diminishing our effort to assist our allies. When a crisis strikes, Britain stands up.

Supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do. President Zelensky and his people are locked in a struggle to protect their state, a country with the same democratic values as ours.

I have met brave colleagues from the Ukrainian parliament, which has been key to deepening our ties with Ukraine and shaping our response to Russia’s invasion. I had the honour of meeting Lesia Vasylenko, Alona Shkrum, and Mariia Mezentseva, and I thanked them for their support in strengthening the partnership between our countries.

I was the UK’s first female defence secretary, and I’m a Royal Naval reservist. I have seen at first hand how the world has become a more dangerous place over the last decade. The invasion of Ukraine has taught us that state-on-state warfare is not a thing of the past. But this century will also see a battle for values, between open societies like Britain and authoritarian regimes like Russia.

To this end, we will redouble our cooperation with the US and the EU, as well as other key partners, to coordinate military support at the same time as encouraging our European allies to do more.

We will continue to lead the G7 on imposing sanctions on Putin and his regime, and increase our efforts in enforcement.

We will examine options to scale up training for Ukrainian armed forces personnel in the UK, and create a Royal Navy-led taskforce to lead communications and de-mining in the vital strategic waters of the Black Sea. In addition, we will strengthen information operations in Ukraine to counter Russian disinformation and improve Ukraine’s domestic resilience.

We must rebuild Ukraine’s economy after Russian aggression has been foiled and I will create a programme to assist tech entrepreneurs and investors to work with Ukrainian companies to restore growth and undertake reconstruction from the rubble of Russia’s bombs.

We did not seek a confrontation with Russia. But Putin’s act of aggression against his neighbour means we cannot walk by and do nothing. The fight of the Ukrainian people against their invaders is our fight too. It is a part of a wider clash of values and ideals, and we must do everything we can to turn the tide. President Zelensky, we are with you now, in your defence of Ukraine, and your defence of freedom. We will not let you down.


  1. “President Zelensky, we are with you now, in your defence of Ukraine, and your defence of freedom. We will not let you down.”

    Lovely words Penny. Boris’s Ukraine legacy will be safe with her and/or Liz Truss. Front runner Rishi Sunak has yet to address this topic. The two women together could defeat him.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ukraine has no better friends in Europe than Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Pribaltika and of course Britain. But then IMO, Britain has no better friends in Europe than Poland and Ukraine.
    Accordingly, we should form a military, trade and intel-sharing alliance. It makes total sense for all. There already exists the The British–Polish–Ukrainian trilateral pact, which was announced by Dmytro Kuleba on 17th February, 2022. Now is the time give it teeth. A nuclear armed alliance consisting solely of anti-putler countries would be putler’s worst nightmare. Let’s give it to the murderous bastard.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If only more politicians were like Mrs. Penny Mordaunt! Alas, it’s depressing, when looking across the Western political landscape.
    It is nice to see her having a fair chance to become Britain’s next PM.

    Liked by 3 people

    • She’s single at present. She’s a naval reserve. A few years back some officers bet her that she could not say “cock” five times in a House of Commons speech. She won! And also inserted “lay”, “laid” and “cock welfare.”
      Super chick! (Another word she inserted!)

      Liked by 2 people

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