'Unaware' Tory MP rebuked by No10 for taking trip to Ukraine against advice

Downing Street criticised Gravesham MP Adam Holloway, a former soldier, saying the Foreign Office travel advice issued in light of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine applied “to everyone” and that Mr Holloway should “certainly” not be on the trip, of which they claim they were unaware.

Mr Holloway, who is a member of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said he arrived in Ukraine on Monday morning and was in a town about 80 miles east of the border with Poland.

Sharing what he had witnessed in war-struck Eastern Europe on GB News on Monday night, he spoke of a total “determination” by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s people to fight against Moscow’s invasion.

He said: “I’ve only been on the ground for just over 12 hours but it seems to me that these people here are absolutely determined to fight.

“If you look at the moral component of warfare — and as you know I used to be a soldier — that is the decisive thing.

“We can’t know what’s going to happen over the next few days and months.

“But one thing I can absolutely tell you is that these people here — certainly where I am right now and I think right across Ukraine — it does feel to me as if they’re going to fight.”

Ukraine-Russia LIVE: Putin arrests children in brutal protest clampdown

The Tory MP, who previously worked as an investigative journalist for ITN and ITV, also described scenes of desperation.

When he crossed into Ukraine, he explained, he saw 20-mile queues of people as they tried to flee the country.

Many, crowded together, were being forced to wait for four days in the cold, he said.

More than half a million Ukrainians have left since Putin ordered a full-scale invasion last Thursday, with humanitarian organisations warning a huge refugee crisis is underway.

Mr Holloway, who also saw queues outside military conscription centres, said: “The McDonald’s near the border was packed with women and children and a few elderly people.”

The news of his trip comes as attacks by Russian forces near its first week, with Defence Minister Ben Wallace predicting Putin’s plans will get worse.

He said: “Anyone who thinks logically would not do what he (Putin) is doing, so we are going to see … his brutality increase.”

Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Wallace added: “He doesn’t get his way, he surrounds cities, he ruthlessly bombards them at night … and he will then eventually try and break them and move into the cities.”

Moscow on Wednesday claimed its troops had taken control of a first sizeable city, Kherson, on the Black Sea to the west.

The provincial capital would be the biggest city to fall to the Kremlin so far.

Strategically located on the Dniepr river, it had been under intense shelling since late Tuesday.

Ukrainian forces are meeting Putin’s army with fiercer-than-expected resistance.

According to President Zelenskiy, nearly 6,000 Russians have been killed in the first six days of the war.

Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said on Twitter on Monday it would pay Russian soldiers if they willingly surrendered to Ukrainian troops.

They wrote in a statement: “We offer Russian soldiers a choice: to die in an unjust war, or full amnesty and 5 million rubles of compensation if they put down their guns and voluntarily surrender to prison.”

Leave a Reply