Sunak and Starmer hit out at Farage over Putin and Ukraine claims

Nigel Farage’s claim that the West instigated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been condemned by leaders across the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the comment was “absolutely false and only plays into Putin’s hands”, accusing the reformist UK leader of “appeasement” which was “dangerous to Britain’s security”.

In a BBC Panorama interview, Mr Farage said the war was “definitely” President Vladimir Putin’s fault, but the expansion of the European Union and NATO gave Russians a reason to say “they’re coming for us again”.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer described the comments as “disgraceful”, while Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey called Mr Farage “an apologist for Putin”. The SNP said it was a “shame for all Ukrainians who have suffered”.

  • author, Brian Wheeler
  • stock, Political Correspondent

Speaking on an election campaign tour in London, Mr. Sunak said, “What he is [Mr Farage] What was said is completely false and only plays into Putin’s hands.”

He added: “This is a man [Mr Putin] This kind of appeasement is dangerous to Britain’s security and to the security of our allies who rely on us, and will further embolden Putin, who has stopped nerve-racking on the streets of Britain and is making deals with countries like North Korea.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir said Mr Putin “takes full responsibility” for the invasion of Ukraine and “anyone who wants to stand as a representative in our parliament should be really clear… we stand against that aggression”.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davy said: “As I travel around our country in towns, cities and villages, British people fly the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of unity and hope for their future.

“Nigel Farage has proved he is on Putin’s side, not on the side of freedom.”

The SNP’s Brendan O’Hara told the National: “In defending the indefensible, Farage has once again shown how out of touch his views are with voters in Scotland.”

In his Panorama interview, former UKIP and Brexit party leader Nick Robinson was asked about his past comments about Mr Putin.

“I said I didn’t like him as a person, but I admired him as a political operator because he was able to control the conduct of Russia,” he replied.

He said it had been “obvious” to him over the years that the eastward expansion of NATO and the EU was giving this man a reason to tell his Russian people, ‘They’re coming for us again’. Go to war”.

video title, Nigel Farage: We provoked war in Ukraine

Pressed further, he added: “We provoked this war. And that, of course, you know it was his fault – he used what we did as an excuse.”

After the interview aired on Friday, Mr Farage, a former member of the European Parliament, called X “one of the few people who is consistent and honest about the war with Russia”.

Along with the new statement, he re-recorded a speech to the European Parliament from 2014 in which he called on the West to “stop playing war with Putin”.

John Healy, Labour’s shadow defense secretary, said the comments made the reformist UK leader “unfit to hold any political office in our country, let alone lead a serious party in parliament”.

The Ukrainian president’s office told the BBC it would not issue an official statement on Mr Farage’s comments.

But a source in the president’s office warned of “the rise of Putinism’s virus and war propaganda,” and added that “the task of civilized humanity is to nip this virus in the bud.”

Reform UK’s Conservative Party has been winning in opinion polls since Mr Farage announced his return to frontline politics as party leader shortly after the start of the general election campaign.

He has said his aim is to replace the Conservatives with the Labor Party as the official opposition, which he says is certain to take power on July 4, although polls suggest the party could only win a handful of seats in this election.

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