Boris Johnson is preparing to return to the UK amid mounting criticism over his failure to cut short his Caribbean holiday to address soaring tensions in the Middle East.
The prime minister, who has been celebrating the New Year with his girlfriend on the private island of Mustique, has so far not commented on the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top general.
Expected back in Downing Street in the coming hours, Mr Johnson is under mounting pressure from opposition leaders to make a statement on the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani.
A government source defended the prime minister, saying “he’s been kept fully up to date” including by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab “at all times”.
“And he will be meeting with ministers on Monday and speaking to foreign leaders over the next few days,” they said.
Jeremy Corbyn said the “assassination” risks “an extremely serious escalation of a dangerous conflict with global consequences by a belligerent US president.”
“Boris Johnson should have immediately cut short his holiday to deal with an issue that could have grave consequences for the UK and the world,”(the outgoing Labor leader added.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, who is running to lead labor, asked “is he afraid of angering Trump?” in an article in The Observer.
“Or is it simply that, as he lounges in the Caribbean sun, he simply does not care, an exact duplicate of the blasé approach to Iran that he took in – when he was foreign secretary and Trump was driving the nuclear deal to destruction – and the previous year when he recklessly jeopardized the fate of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe? “
The US has sent 3, extra troops to Kuwaitafter Iran threatened revenge over President Donald Trump’s authorization of the attack in Baghdad on Friday.
Mr Raab is expected to meet his French and German counterparts during the week before speaking to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Thursday.
He has called for calm and urged all aggressors to de-escalate following the killing of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and mastermind of regional security strategy.
(travel) to Britons across the Middle East has been strengthened, while the Navy will begin accompanying UK-flagged ships through the key oil route of the Strait of Hormuz.
Earlier Laborer’s John McDonnell vowed during an anti-war protest at Downing Street to press Mr Johnson over the attack, which will “set the Middle East and the globe alight yet again
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