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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
David Hughes

Ukraine and cost-of-living crisis dominate as Johnson prepares for No 10 exit

PA Wire

Boris Johnson’s final fortnight in office will include restating support for Ukraine and highlighting measures to address the cost-of-living crisis, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s successor will be confirmed on September 5, when either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak emerges as the victor in the Tory leadership race, with the formal handover of power due to take place the following day.

Mr Johnson is expected to divide his time between No 10 and his country retreat Chequers this week, after returning from a Greek holiday.

Removal vans were seen in Downing Street last week (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Ukraine’s independence day on Wednesday will be marked with a series of events, in a sign that the UK’s support will continue beyond the close link forged between Mr Johnson and Volodymyr Zelensky.

“A large focus this week is on reiterating our support for Ukraine, and that is an unwavering commitment that we have to supporting Ukraine in the face of an illegal war,” a No 10 spokeswoman said.

“The Government is also focused on supporting people with the cost of living and making sure that those who are eligible for the £37 billion of support that’s already available through our phased-in plan are availing themselves of it.”

But no more help is expected to be announced before the new prime minister takes office, with major policy decisions postponed until that point.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales on August 12 (Oli Scarff/PA) (PA Wire)

The Prime Minister visited the Security Service’s headquarters in London on Monday to pay tribute to the work done by MI5 in keeping the country safe.

Since standing down as Tory leader and effectively becoming a caretaker prime minister, Mr Johnson has also gone on visits to a special forces base, flown in a Typhoon jet and met soldiers training Ukrainian counterparts.

With Ukraine and high inflation set to dominate his final days in office, No 10 denied that a war in Europe and a cost-of-living crisis were the main features of Mr Johnson’s legacy.

The spokeswoman said: “I would point you to his own words in the House where he has spoken more about the record of this Government. That includes getting Brexit done and leaving the EU, leading the country through the greatest public health emergency in a generation, protecting lives and livelihoods.

“And that is alongside, yes, supporting Ukraine in the face of an illegal war and supporting people through the current cost-of-living challenges.”

The Prime Minister has been accused by critics of leading a “zombie government” with major decisions deferred until the new occupant takes over in No 10.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told reporters on Monday the Government was doing “absolutely nothing” to resolve industrial disputes and help ease the cost-of-living crunch ahead of the announcement of the increased energy price cap on Friday.

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