Russia: 'UK has never known such a disgrace of a Prime Minister'

In this video grab taken from footage broadcast by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) via the Parliament TV website on October 12, 2022, Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • The UK is one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters and Russia considers it as one of the most unfriendly Western countries. 

Russia on Thursday said Britain has "never known such a disgrace as prime minister" after Liz Truss resigned as UK leader just weeks into her time in office.

"The catastrophic ignorance and the queen's funeral immediately after her audience with Liz Truss will be remembered," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.

"Britain has never known such a disgrace as prime minister."  

Relations between Moscow and London have deteriorated for years, over issues such as the 2018 poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. They have reached record lows since Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

The UK is one of Kyiv's staunchest supporters and Russia considers it as one of the most unfriendly Western countries. 

Truss visited Russia as Foreign Secretary in February, just two weeks before President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine.  

In a strained meeting with counterpart Sergei Lavrov, she confused two regions of Russia with regions of Ukraine.

Biden vows 'close cooperation' with UK after Truss quits

US President Joe Biden vowed Thursday to continue close cooperation with Britain following the resignation of Liz Truss, whose six-week premiership was marred by political and economic chaos.

"I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine," Biden said in a statement.

"We will continue our close cooperation with the UK government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face."

Macron wishes Britain rapid return to stability

France's President Emmanuel Macron wished Britain a rapid return to stability on Thursday as Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned after six weeks in office marred by political and economic chaos.

Arriving at an EU summit, Macron said he would not comment on British domestic politics but added: "It is important that Great Britain regains political stability very quickly, and that is all I wish."

Relations between Paris and London have often been sour as Britain negotiated its divorce from the European Union and threatened to get worse as Truss courted the hardline pro-Brexit wing of her party.

During her campaign to be elected leader of the Conservative Party, and thus prime minister, Truss famously said that "the jury is out" on whether the French leader was a friend or foe of Britain.

But there were also signs of a potential rapprochement on strategic issues, with Truss agreeing to attend the first summit in Prague of the Macron-inspired European Political Community.

News of Truss's resignation broke as Macron was arriving at the EU summit in Brussels, and he was asked about it by reporters.

Macron said that he had had several telephone calls with Truss during her brief time in office and had been glad to see her in Prague.

"I want to say that France, as a nation and people who are friends of the British people, wishes them above all stability," he said, stressing the context of the war in Ukraine and energy price crisis. 

"But personally, I'm always sad to see a colleague leave in this way and what I want to say is that I wish stability can return soon."

'Terrific': Tory stronghold relieved by Truss demise

Liz Truss's resignation on Thursday was met with relief by voters in the Conservative stronghold town of Godalming, located in the well-heeled London commuter belt.

"Terrific!" said travel agent Ken Cully, 62, on hearing the news.

"She just made a mess of it, an absolute mess of it and didn't have the support of the rest of the party."

Cully said the chaos of the past few weeks had left him very concerned and he would have preferred to have seen former finance minister Rishi Sunak at the helm.

"I am worried like everyone else in the country.  We're all struggling."

Now, he said, he expected "the mayhem is going to start, the opposition is going to be baying for an election".

He fears it is too late for the Conservatives to turn their fortunes around.

"The damage is done. That's for sure. It's going to depend now on who takes over. I'd like to see Rishi Sunak take over because I think he'd have done a better job."

The leafy town is part of new Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt's constituency, but he has indicated he will not be running.

'Bring Boris back'
Retiree Sally Sherfield said the political chaos had made her "uneasy". 

"I do think it's better that she goes," she said reacting to the news.

"I think it needs a general election. I think they (Truss's government) have done too much damage to the country. It needs to be altered."

Carmen Harvey-Browne, a recently retired teacher and Conservative voter, said the situation had become an "absolute mess" and Truss "just needed to go".

She said Truss was "not fit for purpose", adding that news of her departure left her feeling "a bit more hopeful now".

"They need to turn it around big time. Hunt is OK, but it's a poisoned chalice".

Pam Deeprose, a retired secretary and lifelong Conservative voter, blamed the party members for the debacle.

"It's their fault. They elected her. Bring Boris back. He was an imperfect human being but we all are and he did what needed doing.

"I live in fear of Labour taking over. We've seen it all before. We've seen the winter of discontent. We've seen the three-day week, the chaos," she said, referring to the industrial unrest of the 1970s.


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