James Cleverly has hit back at Boris Johnson after he accused Rishi Sunak of failing to give enough support to Ukraine.
The former prime minister launched an outspoken attack on western governments’ response to the ongoing Russian invasion in an article in The Spectator last week.
Johnson said: “I have asked it before, and I ask it again: what the hell are we waiting for?”
Shown Johnson’s comments by Trevor Phillips on his Sky News show this morning, Cleverly said: “He cannot be talking about the United Kingdom.
“Under his tenure, and I always pay tribute to his leadership on this, we supplied those NLAW anti-tank missile systems that were so instrumental in the defence of Kyiv, we supplied training.
“Under Rishi Sunak as prime minister we were the first in the world to commit main battle tanks, other countries in the world then followed our example.
“We were the first to commit to the training of fast jet pilots, then other countries followed our example.
“We were the first to commit to those long-range missiles that have been instrumental in helping the Ukrainians in their battle in the south and south-east of Ukraine. So we have led the world on all these issues.”
But Phillips replied: “Surely [Boris Johnson] should know about the issue of pace? He was the fastest of western leaders to respond. And he now says that the momentum that he set is essentially being run into the ground by you guys. You’ve got to take this seriously.”
Cleverly said: “Of course I take his comments seriously, but I’ve just given you evidence of the fact that he is wrong on this issue.
“I speak to the Ukrainians very regularly on this. They remain incredibly grateful, not just for our donations but our leadership on this issue.”