Ben Wallace Says Liz Truss Was Wrong To Back Brits Fighting In Ukraine
Defence secretary Ben Wallace has said that only “trained military personnel” should travel to fight in Ukraine, despite Liz Truss suggesting she would support British people joining so-called "International Brigades".
The foreign secretary made the remarks on Sunday, after President Zelenskyy said any foreign national who came to the country would be given weapons to help fight the Russian invasion.
She told the BBC: "I do support that, and of course that is something that people can make their own decisions about.
"The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy not just for Ukraine, but for the whole of Europe because that's what President Putin is challenging."
But this was contradicted by defence secretary Ben Wallce on Monday morning. He said that while Truss was “right to say” the cause was just, only the military should be heading to the region.
“Our armed forces are contributing in a proper way to do this. If you’re keen to help, come and join our armed forces. There are people who will go,” he told Sky News.
"Unless you are properly trained, unless you are an experienced member of the armed forces, I think there are better ways for you to contribute to the security of Ukraine."
He urged Britons not to “put yourselves in harm's way” by making the journey to Ukraine.
Wallace suggested that the Russian invasion appeared to be in “some disarray” as Kremlin forces were still a long way from reaching the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
“They are behind schedule, they are taking significant casualties and they are feeling public rejection in parts of the Russian system itself – we’ve seen many protests,” he told the BBC on Morning morning.
And, speaking to Sky, Wallace also hinted at a U-turn on the government’s decision not to offer asylum to those fleeing Ukraine unless they have family in the UK.
He said that the government’s decision was a “first step”, and said he was aware of the EU’s “change” in policy after the bloc said it would accept refugees without an asylum application.
“We will reflect on that and make decisions in the near future,” he said.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe