I fully support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and I condemn President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable attack.
This heinous violation of international law will have tragic consequences, and my thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and all those impacted.
From the emails and messages I’ve received over the past few days, I know our community stands with Ukraine. I also know people in this country will be feeling worried and uncertain, and I know that Ukrainians and Russians here in the UK will be worrying for friends and family back home.
We must support the Ukrainian people and we must ensure that Putin fails.
In the UK, this means introducing the hardest possible sanctions against all those linked to Putin. The aim should be to cut Russia out of the western economic system, targeting the finance, energy, technology and defence sectors as well as individuals linked to Putin and the Russian government. After more than a decade of inaction, the influence of corrupt Russian money must now be extricated from the UK.
We also need to unite the international community against Putin’s ideology of authoritarianism, imperialism and ethno-nationalism. But we must be clear that our opposition is to Putin and his gangster regime, not ordinary Russian people.
We’ve already seen images and videos of Russians united in protest against the invasion of Ukraine. Their incredible bravery tells us about the deep unease many Russians feel about Putin’s deranged expansionism.