UK

Boris Johnson misses red wall summit for surprise visit to Kyiv

Boris Johnson has made a second surprise visit to Kyiv for a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after pulling out of a major red wall conference in Doncaster at the last minute.

The prime minister was due to make a speech before Tory northern MPs, councillors and business leaders on Friday afternoon.

Sky News’ deputy political editor Sam Coates reported earlier today that organisers of the summit were “mystified” at the PM’s no-show, but had been told there was a “good reason” and that it is of “sufficient significance”.

Downing Street has now confirmed that the prime minister was absent from the conference to make his second visit to Ukraine since the start of the war.

The prime minister soon after tweeted: “Mr President, Volodymyr, It is good to be in Kyiv again.”

Mr Johnson became the first leader of a G7 country to travel to Kyiv when he went in April.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said at the time: “We welcome Boris Johnson to Kyiv… Be brave, like Boris. Be brave, like Ukraine.”

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