Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is prepared to keep making “tough decisions” as he sets out about winning back trust from both his party and the public.
The Prime Minister and leaders of other Nato countries are currently in the Spanish capital of Madrid for a two day summit billed as “pivotal” to the future of the West’s Transatlantic defence alliance.
The summit is taking place against the backdrop of Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine – a conflict which has already cost thousands of lives and upended European security.
But the NATO talks are also looking beyond Russia to the security challenge presented by China as well as how to counter terrorism and threats posed by cyber and hybrid warfare.
Speaking to GB News at the Nato Summit in Madrid, the Prime Minister said:
“My job is to try and make some very tough decisions and to keep making them and keep taking the country forward. It’s the job of brilliant commentators in the media to draw political conclusions and judgements about peoples careers. I used to do that job but I don’t do that anymore.”
“The way to win people back is to show what we are doing, explain it over again and when people find it controversial, try again.”
The PM also commented on the ongoing abortion debate as the world continued to react to the US ruling.
“I have always been in favour of a women’s right to choose and that is what we have in UK law. And we have actually just taken steps to make sure that is the way the law is enforced along the whole of the UK.”
Earlier Mr Johnson hit out at Vladimir Putin saying he was “evil” and responsible for an “appalling act of unwarranted aggression against the innocent population”.
The Prime Minister told GB News’ Political Editor, Darren McCaffrey:
“I think that what he has done is evil.
“It’s been an appalling act of unwarranted aggression against the innocent population.”
Condemning the recent attack on a shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, the Prime Minister added:
“This is an act of absolutely unprovoked aggression.”
His comments come after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Putin had “small man syndrome” and was a “lunatic”.
Mr Johnson had earlier suggested the Russian leader’s invasion of Ukraine was an example of “toxic masculinity” and a female president would not have made the same mistake. The PM said:
“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”
Downing Street has said there was “not a deliberate policy” to publicly belittle Putin.
On the reported plans to axe 9,000 soldiers and a third of the Army’s main battle tanks, despite mounting aggression from Moscow, the Prime Minister said:
“We’re investing massively in our defences. What I want to see is the army, navy air force that is strong, sufficiently numerous but also has the kit, the training that they need.”
Tonight Spain’s King Felipe VI is hosting a Royal Gala dinner for the world leaders and tomorrow after a full day of meetings, they will attend a reception and dinner at the Museo Del Prado on Wednesday evening.
Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street
Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.