MP ‘furious’ after Boris Johnson misses red wall talks to go to Kyiv: defense secretary says partygate is not over

Claims that Boris Johnson missed a conference of northern MPs for a trip to Ukraine fearing a poor reception after partygate have been dismissed as “conspiracy lies”.

The prime minister unexpectedly withdrawn from a conference of Northern Conservatives in Doncaster on Friday, just days before a crucial by-election in Wakefield that the Conservatives are expected to lose.

he instead traveled to Kyiv to meet with the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates said organizers of the inaugural Northern Research Group (NRG) conference were “baffled” by the absence, but told them there was a “good reason” and that it was “important enough.” “. .

However, it did not stop speculation that Johnson may have canceled to miss out on a difficult trip following the partygate scandal and a great revolt of their own deputies.

Johnson’s allies rejected the claims, with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace describing them as “conspiracy b***h.”

He said that “a lot of rubbish was being said”, adding that such visits had to be organized in “total secrecy” and that it was important for mr johnson to show support for an ally in war.

“Help Ukraine Winning and trying to help out at home are linked. Some of the inflation we see is coming from gas and food prices, which are partly pushed up by this conflict,” he tweeted.

“It’s amazing how one major trip can spawn so many conspiracy stories.”

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PM lands in Kyiv for surprise visit

Sky News understands that a Conservative MP at the conference was furious that the prime minister did not show up for the event, adding that they were told Johnson “was on the train to Doncaster” on Friday morning.

“This is the first test of contact with his colleagues and he has failed it,” said the parliamentarian.

NRG frontman Jake Berry said people were “disappointed” by Johnson’s absence.

He said the summit underlined the importance of giving the region more control so that it is not just dependent on politicians in Whitehall.

He said that unless people in the North could see the benefits of moving up the ranks, the Conservatives would have a hard time in the next general election.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his speech at Blackpool and The Fylde College in Blackpool, Lancashire, where he announced new measures to potentially help millions gain access to property.  Picture date: Thursday June 9, 2022.

‘I wouldn’t run away…’

“The prime minister’s move is a Downing Street affair,” Berry told Channel 4 News.

“Clearly people were disappointed. We had over 30 colleagues here and 400 members.

“What we have put out here today are hugely positive ideas from the North, for the North, that are designed to appeal to voters in Wakefield and across the North of England.

“It’s about fueling that debate about how we here in the north of England can take back control of our destiny, not rely on a prime minister in Whitehall or Kyiv or wherever he is in an individual moment to change our lives.

“Whoever is prime minister, whatever is in the Conservative Party manifesto, unless people feel good about what the Conservatives are achieving in the north, it will be a very difficult choice. I wouldn’t run away from that.”

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership who was also at the NRG event, said Johnson’s decision not to attend was a “missed opportunity.”

‘Be brave, like Boris’

Downing Street said Johnson met with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s fight against Russia and offer a major training program for Ukrainian forces “to help maintain their heroic defense.”

The government said the programme, led by the UK, has the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days and will help both new and existing Ukrainian soldiers.

The initiative will train and exercise Ukraine’s armed forces using the proven experience of the British military, allowing them to accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces and increase their resilience as they continue to defend their nation’s sovereignty against Russian invaders, Downing Street added. .

Johnson became the first leader of a G7 country to travel to Kyiv when he first went in April.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said at the time: “We welcome Boris Johnson to Kyiv… Be brave, like Boris. Be brave, like Ukraine.”

The last trip came a day later. French President Emmanuel MacronGermany Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italy’s leader Mario Draghi met with Zelenskyy as Ukraine bids to join the EU.

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