In the midst of renewed scrutiny about his finances, Boris Johnson surprisedly visited Ukraine.
Former prime minister claimed it was a privilege to be invited by President Volodymyr Zilenskyy to visit the war-torn country, whom he had close working relationships during his tenure in office.
After claims that Rishi Sunak’s visit could weaken his authority in foreign policy, Downing Street said Rishi Sunak was supportive of the visit.
Johnson was photographed visiting Borodianka, Kyiv – a town badly damaged by Russian invasion.
Johnson stated in a statement that the suffering of the Ukrainian people has continued for too long.
“The only way to end the war is for Ukraine win, and win as quickly as possible. Now is the time to double down and give the Ukrainians everything they need to complete the job.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson added that he fully supports UK Government policy on Ukraine, including the recent decision of sending Challenger 2 tanks.
The ex-prime Minister portrayed himself as a key ally to Kyiv in his time in Number 10. He provided support and called on Western allies in the early days after Russia invaded last February.
As Johnson’s scandal-plagued premiership collapsed, Mr Johnson was accused using phone calls with Mr Zelenskyy or trips to Ukraine as distractions for domestic crises.
This is despite claims that Richard Sharp , former prime minister, helped arrange a guarantee for an loan . Mr Johnson then recommended Mr Sharp to be the BBC chair.
Although Mr Johnson’s spokesperson dismissed the report as “rubbish”, Labour called for independent investigations to determine the truth behind the “murky affair”.
The Guardian published an earlier January report on Johnson’s plans for travel to Ukraine.
Senior Tories expressed concern about the trip. Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Commons defence select committee, told the newspaper that Johnson shouldn’t interfere with the messaging and official lines between London and Kyiv.
However, Mr Sunak’s press representative stated that he was “always supportive for all colleagues showing that the UK supports Ukraine and will continue supporting them”.
In being vocal supporters of Kyiv, the prime minister follows in the footsteps Liz Truss and Mr Johnson.
In November, he visited Ukraine and pledged continued British support for the war-torn nation in its fight against Moscow’s troops.
Johnson was an earlier speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Ukraine. He was introduced in Ukraine as a “legendary” figure.
Mr Sunak, however, avoided the annual gathering at the exclusive Swiss ski resort.