'He's not doing a good job': Guy Verhofstadt slams Boris over Ukraine crisis

15 March 2022, 10:18 | Updated: 15 March 2022, 11:07

Guy Verhofstadt says Boris isn't doing a good job over Ukraine

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson is not doing a good job dealing with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Guy Verhofstadt has told LBC in an exclusive interview.

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Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Verhofstadt criticised the PM for the few refugees that had so far been helped in escaping the war zone to the UK as well as the number of Russian oligarchs not being hit by sanctions.

"Is Boris doing a good job?" Nick asked.

"I don't think he is doing a good job when you are taking in only 4,000 people.

"Secondly, my fear is on the oligarchs as well. Everybody knows that oligarchs have a lot of their wealth here in London.

"And then I see, for example, the images from yesterday when there was one building in London occupied and they sent half the Met police to it. For what, in fact?

"If you're an individual and you can't enter in your house because there is somebody in I don't think half of the Met police in London will come to your rescue.

"I'm very disappointed by that because it's clear that cutting the oligarchs off from their assets - here in London but also in the rest of Europe - is one of the key sanctions we have to take to stop Putin."

Read more: Brexit 'a loss for the world' and EU Parliament would welcome UK back, Verhofstadt says

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It comes after dozens of officers, riot vans and a cherry picker were sent to clear a handful of protesters from the balcony of an oligarch's London mansion on Monday.

A number of people gained access to the property - which belongs to Oleg Deripaska - at around 1am on Monday, hanging the Ukrainian flag from the windows in protest.

The protesters said they planned to open up the mansion, which "has too many rooms to count" including a cinema and a wine cellar, to Ukrainians fleeing the war, along with other refugees needing shelter.

Four people were arrested with the Met confirming a group had come down after around 17 hours before being arrested on suspicion of squatting in a residential building.

Meanwhile, the Home Office previously confirmed that the UK had issued 4,000 visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme ahead of launching its further Homes For Ukraine programme.

Over 88,000 Brits have so far volunteered under the latter scheme, offering to take in Ukrainian refugees to their homes.

During a speech in the House of Commons on Monday, Michael Gove said "unlimited numbers" of refugees would be allowed to live in the UK for three years under the scheme, also confirming that the Government will pay £350 a month to those who offer to take in fleeing Ukrainians for a minimum of six months.