Zelenskyy 'very happy' Boris stayed PM after wounding revolt and hails 'important ally'

7 June 2022, 13:33 | Updated: 7 June 2022, 14:39

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he is "very happy" Boris Johnson is still UK Prime Minister
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he is "very happy" Boris Johnson is still UK Prime Minister. Picture: Alamy

By James Bickerton

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he is "very happy" Boris Johnson is still UK Prime Minister, after winning a confidence vote on Monday evening.

Mr Johnson survived the poll with the backing of 211 Conservative MPs, though another 148 voted to dethrone him.

President Zelenskyy was asked for his reaction by Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf, at an FT Global Boardroom event.

Referring to Mr Johnson he replied: "I am very happy. He is a true friend of Ukraine.

"I am glad we have not lost a very important ally."

Mr Johnson has emerged as a high-profile backer of Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

On April 9 he became one of the first western leaders to visit bomb-scared Kyiv since the war began, where he met President Zelenskyy and said the UK "stands unwaveringly" with Ukraine.

Mr Johnson went out of his way to praise the Ukrainian leader, who has been saluted across the western world for his bravery since the Russian attack began.

He commented: "It is because of President Zelenskyy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted."

The UK has been supporting Ukraine with weapons since before the invasion began.

READ MORE: Defiant Boris orders Cabinet to 'get on with the job' after confidence vote battering

The Cabinet met on Tuesday morning after Boris Johnson's survival
The Cabinet met on Tuesday morning after Boris Johnson's survival. Picture: Alamy/LBC
A Ukrainian solider with a British supplied NLAW missile
A Ukrainian solider with a British supplied NLAW missile. Picture: Alamy/LBC

Boris Johnson 'very badly wounded' following no confidence vote

In February, before the Russian attack, several thousand anti-tank NLAW missiles were sent from British stocks to Ukraine.

Since the war began they have been joined by UK anti-aircraft missiles, armored vehicles and anti-ship weapons.

Earlier this week Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will send Ukraine M270 rocket launchers, a key request from Kyiv.

As thanks for UK support the Ukrainian town of Fontanka, near Odessa, has renamed a street after Mr Johnson.

Whilst Mr Johnson survived Monday's confidence vote his position remains precarious.

Later this month there are crunch by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton, with a Privileges Committee report into whether Mr Johnson mislead Parliament over partygate due later in the year.

Speaking to LBC Tory rebel Sir Roger Gale claimed this is the beginning of the end for the PM.

He added: "I would be very surprised if the Prime Minister is still in Downing Street in the late autumn of this year."

READ MORE: Toxic cloud billows over eastern Ukraine town after Russians 'hit nitric acid store'

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