Boris Johnson can’t ‘just walk away’ from Ukraine as he plans goodbye trip

Prime Minister wants to undertake third trip to see President Zelensky before leaving Number 10 on September 6

SUNDAY POLITICAL EDITOR 23 July 2022 • 8:00pm

Boris Johnson is planning a final trip to see Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine before leaving Downing Street, The Telegraph can disclose, as an ally said he “can’t just walk away”.

The Prime Minister wants to undertake a third trip to see the Ukrainian president, having embarked on a second visit last month.

The disclosure comes after the pair spoke on the telephone on Friday. The Telegraph has been told that Mr Zelensky told Mr Johnson that he had watched his closing address at Prime Minister’s Questions last week and approvingly quoted his final remark: “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson throws a training grenade during a visit to Ukrainian troops being trained by British Armed Forces in North Yorkshire CREDIT: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street

Mr Johnson is due to leave Downing Street on September 6. He said on Saturday that “this Government has fought some of the hardest yards in modern political history”.

The Prime Minister is due to speak to Mr Zelensky on the phone this week once again. An ally said: “He is really feeling the burden of responsibility having been [Mr Zelensky’s] biggest backer. He can’t just walk away and not make sure the world has got his back.

“He is hoping to see him again before he leaves office.”

The Prime Minister appears to be scaling back some of his activity over the summer, with sources saying that Mr Johnson would not address the decennial Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops and spouses, which starts on Tuesday. The last two conferences, in 2008 and 1998, were addressed by Gordon Brown and Sir Tony Blair respectively, when each was prime minister.

In photographs, Mr Johnson was seen posing with heavy weapons and throwing a training grenade as he visited Ukrainian troops being trained by British forces in North Yorkshire.

It was claimed that Mr Johnson privately believes he will be back in office next year, despite announcing his resignation after MPs demanded his exit.

Some 8,000 Tory members are said to have signed a petition demanding a vote on whether Mr Johnson should continue as Prime Minister.

Speaking at his final Prime Minister’s Questions last week, Mr Johnson said, “mission largely accomplished – for now”, before adding: “Hasta la vista, baby.”

A source said that Mr Zelensky approvingly parotted the phrase in their conversation on Friday, saying: “Hasta la vista, baby … love it.” The ally said that the call was “cheering” for the Prime Minister.

Ahead of the third anniversary of his arrival in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “The British people put their faith in me to get the job done. And as I prepare to leave this fantastic job after three years at Number 10 I’m proud to say that’s exactly what I did, with Brexit and so much more besides.

“Because this Government has fought some of the hardest yards in modern political history. We have had to take some of the bleakest decisions since the war. And time and time again we’ve got the big calls right.”

3 comments

  1. Boris will be back. The greatest since Maggie Thatch and, like her, never defeated by the public. Maggie was brought down by a cabal of Europhile twats who knew she wanted out, thus condemning us to another 24 years of Brussels rule, before Boris at last got us out of that pile of shit.
    He saw off the cancerous putler groveler JeremIRA CorbLenin, drove through the quickest vax program in the world and helped save Kyiv from a fate worse than death with his NLAWs.
    The good news is that the Maggie-like Liz will carry on the good work.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Boris, for being a true friend of Ukraine! The country will NEVER forget you and always will be thankful to you. There is a warm friendship developing between Ukraine and the UK.
    And, I’m glad that Liz is there now, to carry on the flag of freedom, friendship and help that Boris unfurled.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Was way awesome seeing Boris training with the AFU. He stood up courageously at a time so few have. He has been a wonderful friend and advocate of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. He has kept his promises and boldly refuted the lies of the rashists.

    Sir Onlyfacts: “…I’m glad that Liz is there now, to carry on the flag of freedom, friendship and help that Boris unfurled.”

    >Me too.

    Liked by 2 people

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