Boris Johnson tried to persuade Donald Trump to support Ukraine during an American tour | Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson held talks with Donald Trump on Ukraine during his tour of the United States, in an apparent attempt to make Ukraine’s case to the skeptical former US president.
Johnson met with Trump “to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the vital importance of a Ukrainian victory,” his spokesman said. It is understood they held the talks on Thursday.
The former prime minister – who faces continued questions at home over allegations of lockdown-breaking parties at Checkers and No 10 – has been in Dallas, where he met Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, and Las Vegas, and made the latest in his recent streak of highly lucrative corporate speeches.
Talks with Trump, whose location has not been disclosed, likely focused on Johnson, a strident international cheerleader for the Ukraine cause, trying to impose her views on the former president.
Trump, who is the favorite to win the Republican nomination and face Joe Biden in next year’s presidential election, has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and appears agnostic on the issue of the Russian invasion from Ukraine.
During a question-and-answer session that aired on CNN earlier this month, Trump declined to say whether he wanted Ukraine to win the war. “Russians and Ukrainians, I want them to stop dying,” he said. “And I will. I will do it in 24 hours.
Speaking earlier, Keir Starmer said Johnson had questions to answer about the Checkers allegations, despite the public being “fed up to the back teeth” with stories about his breaking the law.
The Labor leader said there were people who felt hurt and fed up with the continuation of the saga, but there were “questions now about why these allegations have not been published before”.
Starmer weighed in on the controversy after the Cabinet Office referred new allegations of wrongdoing to police this week. They did so after seeing diary entries about guests who visited Checkers during the pandemic, which Johnson gave to attorneys representing him in the Covid investigation.
On Friday, Johnson said suggestions that he may have participated in further rule violations during the pandemic were a “load of utter nonsense.”
Asked by Sky News at Dulles Airport in Washington whether he had broken the law at Checkers and Downing Street, he said: ‘No… The answer is, as I have said before, there is no absolutely no breach of the rules. Those who want to make allegations should make allegations, but so far no one has.
“This whole thing is a bunch of utter nonsense. I think it was absurd that it was decided to hand over my diary entries to the police.
Police fined Johnson more than a year ago in connection with an event in June 2020 to mark his birthday. More than 100 fines were issued to others at events in and around Downing Street.
The Partygate saga contributed to Johnson’s demise as prime minister, but he has since wondered if a return is possible. Johnson is still facing an investigation by the Members’ Privileges Committee into whether he misled the House of Commons by saying all Covid rules were followed in Downing Street.
On Friday, Starmer told broadcasters: ‘I think people are sick of the stories about Boris Johnson. The core of this is a simple truth that across the country people have made massive sacrifices during Covid.
“Some people don’t make it to the birth of their baby, they don’t make it to the funeral of a close family member. These are deeply personal things, and I think the growing revelations about Boris Johnson only make it worse. add to that feeling of pain, and people are sick of it.
“I think there are now questions about why these allegations didn’t come out before… Obviously there will be inquiries, I understand that. At the heart of it all is a very human sense of one rule for us, which we obey, another rule for Boris Johnson and those at the top of the Conservative Party.
The logs, showing a dozen events at both the Prime Minister’s Mansion of Grace and Favor, Checkers, and No 10, between June 2020 and May 2021, were provided to lawyers appointed by Johnson’s government.
However, the Cabinet Office, which paid for the lawyers, also received the diaries, and officials then decided that under the civil service code they had to go to the police.
Downing Street has denied that Johnson was the victim of politically motivated ‘stitching’ after his allies reacted furiously to news of the latest police involvement.
No 10 stressed that Rishi Sunak had no involvement in the decision to hand over Johnson’s pandemic diaries, saying he had ‘not seen the information or material in question’ and that ministers did not had “no involvement in this process and were only informed after the police had been contacted”.