Labour’s Lammy Vows ‘Ironclad’ Support for Ukraine on Kyiv Visit

(Bloomberg) -- Labour’s David Lammy and John Healey promised to maintain the UK’s “ironclad” commitment to supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia if the opposition party wins a looming general election, as the two senior members of the shadow cabinet visited Kyiv.

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In their meetings Monday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential administration, Lammy and Healey outlined a five-point plan to back the Eastern European nation, based on military support, diplomatic outreach, targeting Russian aggression, boosting industrial production and helping with reconstruction.

Lammy and Healey are set to become Britain’s foreign and defense secretaries should the poll-leading Labour Party win an election due by the end of January.

“A change in government in the UK would mean no change in our military, diplomatic, financial and political support to Ukraine,” Lammy said in a statement. “The next Labour government’s commitment to Ukraine will be ironclad and European security will be our first foreign and defense priority.”

The visit came on a day when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sought to portray Labour as being soft on defense and security issues, citing the opposition’s failure to back a deadline of raising defense spending to 2.5% of economic output by 2030. Labour has also said it would raise defense spending to that level, but only when public finances allowed.

Read more: Sunak Tries Fear to Slow Starmer’s March to UK Election Victory

Sunak also tried to put the focus on Labour leader Keir Starmer’s past support for his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, who was at best ambivalent in his backing of the UK’s nuclear arsenal and NATO membership.

Lammy and Healey’s message included a promise to help create “a clear path for Ukraine’s NATO membership,” and a commitment that Labour “fully backs” the Conservative government’s increased military support for Ukraine this year and in the years ahead, according to the statement.

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