Boris Johnson news latest: Ex-ethics adviser quit over PM’s ‘readiness to break law’

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Boris Johnson considering not replacing ethics adviser after Lord Geidt quits

Boris Johnson‘s former ethics adviser Christopher Geidt has said his resignation was prompted by the PM’s willingness to breach international law.

In a second letter to explain his shock decision to quit on Wednesday, Lord Geidt said that the details of the row over steel tariffs which finally provoked his departure were a “distraction” from his real motivation to leave his position.

He said that he walked out because he was unready to endorse the government’s openness to breaking its international obligations.

His comments suggest he may be concerned over Mr Johnson’s attempt to override the Northern Ireland Protocol in a way which will breach the Brexit treaty that he signed less than three years ago.

Meanwhile, the government has faced a backlash over reports it will not appoint a new ethics adviser after Lord Geidt’s resignation.

John Penrose, who quit as the anti-corruption tsar earlier this month over the Partygate scandal, said: “You can’t just pretend it doesn’t matter, and that there’s no job to be done.”

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Patel signs order to extradite Assange to US to face spying charges

Home secretary Priti Patel has signed an order to extradite Julian Assange to the US to face espionage charges.

The Wikileaks founder, who faces trial over his leaking of US intelligence, can launch an appeal over the next 14 days.

“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange,” the Home Office said.

“Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

Read the full story by Andrew Woodcock here

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 20:40

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Watch: PM offers ‘strategic’ support to Ukraine during Kyiv visit

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to the Ukrainian forces as he again pledged Britain’s support in their fight to drive out the Russian invaders.

Boris Johnson offers ‘strategic’ support to Ukraine in surprise meeting with Zelensky

Speaking at a joint news conference with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, the PM said the Ukrainians had inflicted heavy losses on the Russians.

“If Ukrainian troops are suffering then I have to tell you all the evidence is that Putin’s troops are under acute pressure themselves and they are taking heavy casualties,” he said.

“Their expenditure of munitions – of shells and other weaponry – is colossal. After 114 days of attack on Ukraine, they have still not achieved the objectives they set out for the first week.

“We are here once again to underline that we are with you to give you the strategic endurance that you will need and we are going to help to continue to intensify the sanctions on Putin’s regime.”

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 20:00

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Starmer and Rayner return questionnaires to police amid Beergate

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner have returned questionnaires to police investigating whether they broke lockdown regulations, a party spokesman has said.

Durham Constabulary are looking into whether the rules were violated after Sir Keir was caught on camera drinking a beer in an MP’s office after a day of campaigning for the local elections in Durham in April 2021.

Both the Labour leader and Ms Rayner have said they will stand down if they are issued with fixed-penalty notices.

Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer

(Getty)

At the time of the gathering, non-essential retail and outdoor venues including pub gardens were open, but social distancing rules, which included a ban on indoor mixing between households, remained in place.

But Labour has argued that food was consumed between work events, meaning it was within the rules.

Last month, Durham Constabulary announced they had reversed an earlier decision that no offence had been committed, after receiving “significant new information”.

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 19:30

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Julian Assange’s wife says extradition order signed by Patel a ‘travesty’

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Moris said it is a “travesty” that an order for his extradition to the US was signed by home secretary Priti Patel.

Julian Assange’s wife says extradition order signed by Priti Patel is a ‘travesty’

The wife of the WikiLeaks founder Mr Assange, who is currently in Belmarsh prison, said: “This was always a possibility that Priti Patel would send Julian to the country that has plotted to assassinate him, to a country that Julian has exposed of crimes.

“We are not at the end of the road here. We are going to fight this. We are going to use every legal avenue and I’m going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he’s free, until justice is served.”

After calling the signing of the order a “travesty”, she said: “I have no words to express what it’s like to see the UK process being used as a way to prolong Julian’s suffering.”

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 19:00

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Lord Geidt quit as ethics adviser over PM’s ‘readiness to break law’

Boris Johnson‘s former ethics adviser Christopher Geidt has said his resignation was prompted by the PM’s willingness to breach international law.

In a second letter to explain his shock decision to quit on Wednesday, Lord Geidt said that the details of the row over steel tariffs which finally provoked his departure were a “distraction” from his real motivation to leave his position.

He said that he walked out because he was unready to endorse the government’s openness to breaking its international obligations.

His comments suggest he may be concerned over Mr Johnson’s attempt to override the Northern Ireland Protocol in a way which will breach the Brexit treaty that he signed less than three years ago.

Meanwhile, the government has faced a backlash over reports it will not appoint a new ethics adviser after Lord Geidt’s resignation.

John Penrose, who quit as the anti-corruption tsar earlier this month over the Partygate scandal, said: “You can’t just pretend it doesn’t matter, and that there’s no job to be done.”

Read the full story here by Andrew Woodcock

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 18:43

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Johnson pledges troop training for Ukrainian army during Kyiv visit

Boris Johnson made the surprise visit to Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine to offer a major training operation he believes could “change the equation” against the Russian invasion.

The Prime Minister visited Kyiv to pledge training to up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days, as he vowed “we will be with you until you ultimately prevail”.

Downing Street said the British-led scheme would train and drill Ukrainian troops to accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces and increase their resistance.

Arranged in secret in recent days, it was Mr Johnson’s second visit to Kyiv since Russian president Vladimir Putin began his offensive in February.

Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Zelensky during their meeting today

(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/PA)

“My visit today, in the depths of this war, is to send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: the UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.

“As Ukrainian soldiers fire UK missiles in defence of your nation’s sovereignty, they do so also in defence of the very freedoms we take for granted.

“That is why I have offered president Zelensky a major new military training programme that could change the equation of this war – harnessing that most powerful of forces, the Ukrainian determination to win.

“Two months on from my last visit, the Ukrainian grit, determination and resilience is stronger than ever, and I know that unbreakable resolve will long outlive the vain ambitions of president Putin.”

The costs of the new operation were uncertain, with Downing Street noting that the training programme was just an offer for now.

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Boris Johnson accused of showing ‘total contempt’ for northern Tories

MPs were not impressed with the timing of the trip to Kyiv – with one senior Nothern Research Group figure saying that he had shown “total contempt” for colleagues by skipping their conference in Doncaster.

A senior NRG source told reporters: “Boris agreed to come and speak to the biggest caucus of Conservatives in the party. This group, who represent his majority, and came through for him in the leadership vote.”

The source added: “That goodwill is gone. His actions have shown a total contempt for colleagues, contempt for members and contempt for the north.”

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Critics of PM’s visit to Ukraine ‘need to check priorities” – MP

A Tory MP has come to Boris Johnson’s defence after he visited Ukraine to meet Volodymyr Zelensky in an unexpected move.

The prime minister has been accused of fleeing to Kyiv to visit his Ukrainian counterpart at times his reputation takes a hit.

Mr Johnson last went to Kyiv in April, two months after Russia invaded Ukraine. He and Mr Zelensky have been in contact regularly.

Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “He is literally leading high level talks with the President of Ukraine, a nation still fighting for survival in large part thanks to the leadership Boris Johnson has shown.

“I think people seriously need to check their priorities.”

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 17:40

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Labour accuses PM of ‘absent leadership’ during his Ukraine visit

A Labour frontbencher has accused Boris Johnson of “absent leadership” after it was revealed that the PM cancelled meetings to visit Ukraine today.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “Absent leadership pretty much sums up this Government’s approach to the country’s problems.”

PM Mr Johnson is in Kyiv to visit his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, his second trip there during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 17:20

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PM Boris Johnson pulls out of global climate meeting to visit Kyiv

Boris Johnson has pulled out of a virtual climate meeting with 15 other heads of state in order to visit Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine.

The prime minister, under fire over the departure of his ethics adviser, is facing criticism that he turns to the Ukrainian president at times his reputation is hit by another failure or scandal.

Read the full story here by Rob Merrick

Mr Johnson’s latest trip also comes one day after French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian PM Mario Draghi visited Kyiv.

In order to make his second visit to see Mr Zelensky, Mr Johnson cancelled an appearance he had scheduled for this afternoon at a conference in Yorkshire held by Conservative MPs in the Northern Research Group.

Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 17:00





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