The former PM has set up an office in Westminster from which he hopes to start a foundation to assist the war-torn country
By Christopher Hope, ASSOCIATE EDITOR (POLITICS) 26 October 2022 •
Boris Johnson is considering setting up a new organisation to help support Ukraine and rebuild the war-torn country as he seeks to build a new career on the international stage, The Telegraph can disclose.
The former prime minister has set up an office in Westminster from which he hopes to start a new foundation which his friends say could raise millions to reconstruct the war-torn country.
One friend of Mr Johnson who is familiar with the plans described it as a “Marshal plan for Ukraine” adding “Boris will raise loads of money” from private donors.
Mr Johnson’s role on the international stage was hinted at by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak when he welcomed Mr Johnson’s decision not to run for the Tory leadership last Sunday.
“Although he has decided not to run for PM again, I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad,” Mr Sunak said.
Mr Johnson, 58, is regarded as a hero by many in Ukraine, with streets named after him, for the way as British prime minister he worked tirelessly to build an international coalition of support for Kyiv in the weeks and months after the invasion in February this year.
A source close to Mr Johnson confirmed the plans to help with the “reconstruction” of Ukraine but warned that plans were moving forward at a delicate pace due to the sensitivity of getting it right.
The source said: “He is working on a major project to do with Ukraine which will touch on reconstruction.”
Mr Johnson is set to launch himself on the international stage as an advocate for supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia with a high-profile visit to the US before Christmas.
A speech is planned to raise awareness of Ukraine’s plight in Washington. Mr Johnson is also expected to meet with US senators to make the case for continued US support for Ukraine.
There is a concern in the UK that there is a weakening of support for Kyiv among Republican politicians going into the presidential election period.
The source added: “The thing that is at the front of his mind is that the Republicans will go soft on this – there is a flank of the Republicans who are worried about the fiscal consequences. He wants to make sure that does not happen.”
Mr Johnson was made chairman of Conservative Friends of Ukraine during the Conservative party’s annual conference earlier this month and now wants to build on that role.
Separately he also wants to focus on ensuring that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs to fight Russian forces. There is not an official role with the UK government yet but one may follow.
The source added: “Boris does not need an official role to campaign on Ukraine. He is going to plough his own furrow on this regardless.”
There is no suggestion that Mr Johnson’s focus on Ukraine is going to take him away from his work as an MP, with insiders insisting he remains committed to representing Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the Commons.
Mr Johnson is understood to have been buoyed by the positive response to his widely praised speech in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II in the Commons a day after she died.
The source said: “He is fixed on remaining in Parliament. He views himself as a Parliamentarian.”
Mr Johnson set up the Office of Boris Johnson to run his affairs earlier this month. It is expected to be part-funded by an annual allowance of public money to support the work of former prime ministers.
The private limited company will not do commercial business but instead function as a private office to support his work.
The video embedded in this article brings a lump to the throat. The people in this village have tremendous affection and faith in Boris.
He now has the huge responsibility of delivering on this and he definitely will.
Many Boris can fire up U.S. Senators into not only continued support, but increasing support exponentially. I pray they are so moved.