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Boris Johnson to close Tory Blackpool conference with focus on Ukraine

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson to close the Conservative Party spring conference in Blackpool (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson is set to close the Conservative Party’s spring conference, with the focus on the UK’s response to the war in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister will deliver the closing speech of the two-day event in Blackpool, following scheduled pieces by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

During his appearance at the Scottish Conservative conference on Friday, Johnson devoted a portion of his speech to discussing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a move he is expected to emulate while on England’s northwest coast.

He told supporters in Aberdeen that he was “more than ever convinced that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will fail.”

Promising more support for kyiv, he said the Kremlin had “underestimated the passionate commitment of the people of this country to help,” in a delivery that was seen to have been made largely off the cuff.

This week’s speeches mark the first time the prime minister has addressed a mass gathering of Conservative members since headlines about possible lockdown violations hit Downing Street.

With the Ukraine crisis dominating the columns in recent weeks, so-called “partygate” claims had mostly disappeared, but Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments mean they once again reared their heads on Friday.

Rees-Mogg, during a live recording of his Moggcast podcast in Blackpool, dismissed the dispute over alleged lockdown parties as trivial “fluff” in the wake of the war in Eastern Europe.

However, his view was not shared by Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden, who said any suggestion of misconduct by politicians must be “taken seriously”, with a police investigation still ongoing.

It remains to be seen whether Johnson will use his speech at Blackpool Winter Gardens, with the Tories returning to the resort for the first time since 2007, to refer to the possibility of the Government offering more support to households to weather the current cost of living crisis. .

The Government has already announced help to pay for rising energy costs and offer a discount on council tax to some households, but there have been calls for ministers to go further amid rising inflation. and an increase in fuel prices caused by sanctions on Russia.

Foreign Minister Rishi Sunak, with a spring statement due Wednesday, vowed Friday to help the public “where we can” with skyrocketing power bills and other budget pressures, but admitted the government cannot “solve all problems”.


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