Huge cheers and standing ovation for Ukrainian ambassador in House of Commons

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The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK was given a standing ovation and cheered
loudly by MPs.

Vadym Prystaiko was met with applause as he sat in the public gallery of the House of Commons for today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Once MPs sat back down, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: ‘We generally do not allow applause in this chamber, but on this occasion the House quite rightly wants to demonstrate our respect and support for your country and its people in the most difficult of times.’

After the show of respect, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Putin has gravely miscalculated; in his abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation.

For the latest updates on the Russia-Ukraine war, visit our live blog: Russia-Ukraine live

‘He has underestimated the extraordinary fortitude of the Ukrainian people and the unity and resolve of the free world in standing up to his barbarism.

‘The UN General Assembly will vote later today and we call on every nation to join us in condemning Russia and demanding that Putin turns his tanks around.

‘If instead Putin doubles down then so shall we, further ratcheting up economic pressure and supporting Ukraine with finance, with weapons and with humanitarian assistance.

‘Today the Disasters Emergency Committee is launching its Ukraine appeal and every pound donated by the British people will be matched by the Government, starting with £20million.’

Today’s session saw Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer grilling Prime Minister Boris Johnson on sanctions placed on Russian oligarchs in the UK.

He asked why Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich is set to face sanctions, despite an unintended suggestion by the PM last week that he would.

Johnson replied: ‘It’s not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases at this stage. The vice is tightening on the Putin regime and it will continue to tighten.’

The PM said he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a call this morning that the UK would ‘do everything we can’ to speed up the process of getting weapons to his forces.

He added: ‘We are certainly determined to do everything we can to help Ukrainians fleeing the theatre of conflict.’

This is a breaking news story – more to follow.

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