UK

Johnson takes shot at ‘ruinous’ union bosses during Kyiv trip

B

oris Johnson used a surprise trip to Ukraine to take a shot at union bosses demanding “ever higher” pay as he warned boosting wages further would “pour petrol on the flames” of spiralling costs.

Speaking during a visit to Kyiv, the outgoing Prime Minister insisted the Government was doing everything possible to help people struggling with rising prices, as he lashed out at those driving strikes in the face of mounting inflation.

Mr Johnson made the remarks at a joint press conference with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday.

He blamed recent economic challenges on the “folly and malevolence” of Russian president Vladimir Putin, but insisted Britain had the “strength” and “patience” to push through.

“I have come from a United Kingdom where we are battling inflation that is being driven by the spike in energy prices that is caused by Putin’s war,” he said.

“And we face strikes being driven by trade union bosses who have the ruinous belief that the best way to tackle soaring energy prices is with ever higher wages when that is simply to pour petrol on the flames.

“And, of course, we are doing everything we can to deal with the pressures people face on their cost of living and to help people through the difficult months ahead.”

Making his last trip to Ukraine before leaving office, Mr Johnson set out a further £54 million of military aid, including drones to target Russian forces.

His meeting with Mr Zelensky came on Ukraine’s independence day, marking 31 years since breaking from Moscow’s rule following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mr Johnson said Mr Putin had been “insane” to launch the invasion and the resistance had been like “an indomitable Ukrainian boxer”.

The conflict, and the economic sanctions imposed on Russia, have contributed to soaring global gas prices which have driven up household bills.

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