Boris reveals Volodymyr Zelensky has asked him to ‘keep my hand in’ as outgoing PM vows to continue to campaign for Ukraine – but insists he won’t be part of new government

  • Boris Johnson reveals how Volodymyr Zelensky urged him to ‘keep his hand in’
  • The outgoing PM met the Ukrainian President on a surprise trip to Kyiv last week
  • He revealed how he told Mr Zelensky there would be no drop-off in UK support

Boris Johnson has revealed how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged him to ‘keep his hand in’ even after he departs as Prime Minister next week.

The outgoing premier met with Mr Zelensky during his surprise visit to Kyiv last week.

It was Mr Johnson’s third trip to the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its invasion in late February.

The PM vowed to ‘continue to campaign for Ukraine’ even after leaving office.

But Mr Johnson dismissed suggestions he could take on a role in his successor’s new Government – whether it is led by Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak.

The PM has consistently pointed to British support for Ukraine – together with Brexit and the speedy rollout of Covid vaccines – as one of his crowning achievements from his time in Downing Street.

During his trip to Kyiv last week, Mr Johnson was even awarded with Ukraine’s ‘Order of Liberty’ – the highest award that can be bestowed upon foreign nationals.

The presentation ceremony was personally led by Mr Zelensky, who has grown close to the PM over the past six months since Russia’s Vladimir Putin began his assault on Ukraine.

Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his surprise visit to Kyiv last week

The outgoing PM was awarded with Ukraine’s ‘Order of Liberty’ – the highest award that can be bestowed upon foreign nationals

Mr Johnson revealed how he told Mr Zelensky there would be no drop-off in British support for Ukraine under a new PM

Speaking to the Daily Express in his final days as PM, Mr Johnson described how the Ukrainian leader had urged him to continue his efforts to support the under-siege country.

‘I saw him just the other day, and he’s keen for me to keep my hand in somehow,’ he told the newspaper.

‘You know, I’m not going to be a part of the new Government and to be clear about that, but I will obviously continue to campaign for Ukraine.’

Mr Johnson revealed how he told Mr Zelensky there would be no drop-off in British support for Ukraine under a new PM. 

‘Liz and Rishi and I are absolutely at one on the whole thing,’ he added.

‘I was able to reassure him that there’s going to be no difference in British policy.’

Mr Johnson has refused to rule out a political comeback, amid speculation he is already plotting a second spell in Downing Street in the future.

In the meantime, he offered his ‘open support’ to either Ms Truss or Mr Sunak in ‘delivering on the agenda’ he began when he became PM in 2019. 

‘I’m going to be there to help them, to support in any way I can and I mean that – it’s open support,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘I will basically be supporting the new administration but I think the new administration … my clear impression is that whatever happens the new administration will be delivering on the agenda – that’s the key thing.’

The PM said it was ‘tbc’ as to whether he would attend the Conservative Party in October.

It has recently been claimed Mr Johnson could make a major speech at the Birmingham gathering.

Source: Read Full Article