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New Forest East MP Julian Lewis secures Prime Minister pledge that UK will offer Ukraine government sanctuary



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A COMMITMENT was given by Prime Minster Boris Johnson the UK will host Ukraine’s government should it be exiled – thanks to a prompt from Julian Lewis.

The New Forest East MP pointed out in the House of Commons "for the best part of 50 years" Britain has given sanctuary to "the governments in exile of the occupied Baltic states".

He said it "appeared likely" Ukraine would get overwhelmed, so sought Boris Johnson’s assurance the UK would make an offer "pending Ukraine’s future freedom".

Ukrainians hold a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street (photo: Yui Mok/PA)
Ukrainians hold a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside Downing Street (photo: Yui Mok/PA)

In response Mr Johnson said "of course we will give all the support we can, logistical or otherwise", adding: "One of the points I made to President Zelensky this morning [in a phone call] was that it might be necessary for him to find a safe place for him and his cabinet to go."

The exchange came as Mr Johnson revealed a host of sanctions Britain has imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, including freezing Russian bank assets in the UK and banning Russian state-owned and key strategic private companies from raising finance on the UK financial markets.

Dr Julian Lewis
Dr Julian Lewis

The PM also decried Russian President Vladimir Putin for "hurling the might of his military machine against a free and peaceful neighbour".

He added: "For this, Putin will stand condemned in the eyes of the world and of history; he will never be able to cleanse the blood of Ukraine from his hands.

"And though the UK and our allies tried every avenue for diplomacy until the final hour, I am driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did."



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