Where is Boris? PM still to comment on developing Iran crisis

4 January 2020, 20:27

Boris Johnson is yet to comment on the escalating crisis with Iran
Boris Johnson is yet to comment on the escalating crisis with Iran. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson is facing growing calls to make a statement about the escalating situation in Iraq following the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The Prime Minister is yet to comment on the US airstrike ordered by Donald Trump which resulted in Soleimani's death.

Yesterday, Downing Street confirmed to LBC News that Mr Johnson is still on holiday with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds on the tropical island of Mustique.

On Twitter, #WhereIsBoris began to trend, with some suggesting the PM could be hiding in a fridge.

Tensions in the Middle East have been steadily rising since Soleimani's death, with Iranian's chanting "Death to America" at a funeral for him in Baghdad earlier today.

The first signs of a retaliation from Iran came today, with multiple US targets in Iraq being targeted with rockets.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called for calm and urged all aggressors to de-escalate following Friday's attack on the head of Iran's elite Quds Force and mastermind of regional security strategy.

Boris Johnson is still on holiday
Boris Johnson is still on holiday. Picture: PA
He is currently in Mustique with girlfriend Carrie Symonds
He is currently in Mustique with girlfriend Carrie Symonds. Picture: PA

The Foreign Office issued strengthened travel advice to Britons across the Middle East, but Mr Raab pointedly did not criticise the strike.

The PM was urged to recall Parliament early and Labour's John McDonnell said it is "not good enough" that the Government has not condemned US President Donald Trump for authorising the killing.

At an anti-war protest at Downing Street, the shadow chancellor vowed to press Mr Johnson over the attack, which he said will "set the Middle East and the globe alight yet again".

Mr McDonnell told the Stop the War Coalition event: "We've been here before, we were here 17 years ago. And there's one lesson that came from those events, is that violence begets violence.

"And it's not good enough for the UK Government just to appeal for a de-escalation, what we expect the UK Government to do is to come out in total and outright condemnation of this act of violence.

Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad
Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad. Picture: PA

"We will not tolerate us being dragged yet again into this type of aggressive military action which puts us all at risk."

The PM has been celebrating the new year with his partner Carrie Symonds on the private island of Mustique but is expected to return to the UK early on Sunday.

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested an urgent meeting of the privy council, which advises the monarch, over the "assassination".

Labour's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is expected to enter the Labour leadership race, said: "We stand at a dangerous moment. Boris Johnson must urgently make a statement on what the UK Government is doing to avoid war."

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, as she launched her campaign to succeed Mr Corbyn, demanded the PM recalls Parliament to explain how he plans to "keep British personnel safe" in the region where hundreds of UK troops are based.

She said Mr Johnson must outline how he will work with European allies to ensure "a much more international and concerted action to rein in what has been quite a dangerous and reckless act by a president without real thought about what comes next".

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry earlier said the Foreign Office's call for restraint was "too little and far too late, in the wake of such a brazen, unlawful and provocative attack".

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested an urgent meeting of the privy council, which advises the monarch, over the "assassination".
Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested an urgent meeting of the privy council, which advises the monarch, over the "assassination". Picture: PA

More than 150 anti-war activists, some armed with placards, joined the Stop the War Coalition protest.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, who has made a bid to be Labour's deputy leader, told the crowd the UK must not be "dragged" into any war with Iran.

He said he believes the US president pursued the attack for his own "electoral purposes".

He said: "I and others marched against the Iraq war, shamefully our Government supported George Bush's war in Iraq.

"It made life worse, even worse for people in Iraq, it made terrorism flourish, and it didn't help people in the Middle East or around the world.

"Because Donald Trump, I think, is doing this for electoral purposes. I think it could be as cynical as that.

"And so we've got to argue against war, argue for peace, argue for conflict resolution, and argue in our ever more dangerous world that what we really need is to avoid the rush to war."

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

The parkour runner damaged the UNESCO World Heritage Site building in Italy in a parkour stunt

Shocking footage captures parkour runner damaging UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy

Defendant Josef Fritzl, center, is escorted to the fourth day of his trial in the provincial courthouse in St. Poelten, Austria, Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Incest monster Josef Fritzl placed under legal guardianship amid worsening dementia

Rod Stewart (pictured on stage in Copenhagen on Sunday June 9) was booed by German fans for supporting Ukraine

Rod Stewart defends show of support for Ukraine after booing at Germany concert

The OceanGate submersible has five people on board

Poignant CGI shows how deep doomed Titan descended on it's ill-fated final journey to the Titanic wreck

A missing American tourist has been found dead on a beach on a small Greek island west of Corfu, local media reports

American tourist who went missing on hike found dead on Greek island days after death of Dr Michael Mosley

French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet was one of the five passengers on board Titan

Daughter of 'Mr Titanic' killed in Titan tragedy pays tribute to father one year on from disaster


Greek coastguard caused dozens of deaths in Mediterranean - including nine who were deliberately thrown in water, investigation finds

An 84-year-old woman died a day after being admitted to hospital on Friday

Two die as ‘record-breaking’ 40C heatwave grips Greece, Cyprus and Turkey with red alert issued

Officers shot a man threatening football fans in Hamburg

Man shot by police after brandishing 'axe and molotov cocktail' close to Euro 2024 fan zone

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world in Switzerland

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world leaders in Switzerland

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt