Putin claims Liz Truss’s appointment was far from democratic

Andrew Bailey: Putin will put UK into recession

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The Russian president, who secured over 75 percent of the vote in his country’s most recent election, said UK voters were not given a say in who was elected to lead Britain. He said: “In the UK, the procedure for electing the head of state is far from democratic.”

Putin, speaking today (September 7) at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, added: “It takes place within the framework of the party that won the previous parliamentary election.

“The UK people do not participate in the change of government in this case.”

Ms Truss succeeded Boris Johnson as Prime Minister after winning the support of Conservative Party members in the leadership contest.

The Russian dictator won more than three quarters of the vote in 2018 with his most prominent political opponents prevented from standing.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the election lacked genuine competition and took place in an overly-controlled legal and political environment marked by continued pressure on critical voices.

Putin used his appearance at the Eastern Economic Forum to claim Russia had not “lost anything” as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, despite Western sanctions.

He said: “Russia has resisted the economic, financial and technological aggression of the West. I’m sure we haven’t lost anything and we won’t lose anything. The most important gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty. It’s an inevitable result of what’s going on.”

Asked if she would call a General Election during her first Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons today, Ms Truss said: “We are facing very serious issues as a country, partly as a result of the aftermath of Covid, partly as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

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“What the British public want is they want a Government that is going to sort it out. That is what I’m determined to do as Prime Minister, sort out the energy crisis, get our economy going, make sure people can get doctors’ appointments, that’s what I’m focused on.”

Ms Truss discussed the energy crisis during a call with Germany’s Olaf Scholz today.

A spokeswoman for Ms Truss said in a statement: “Both agreed on the importance of energy resilience and independence. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of ensuring democracy and freedom were upheld in Europe and of protecting countries made vulnerable by Russia’s economic blackmail.”

The spokeswoman said Ms Truss also told Mr Scholz she was keen to expand defence cooperation between their two countries and find a solution to issues around the contentious rules which govern post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland.

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Meanwhile, a group of energy trade bodies have written to the Prime Minister to suggest she focuses on passing new energy laws which ensure policy keeps up with a rapidly evolving industry.

Bosses at eight trade bodies said passing the Energy Bill could be the first victory for Ms Truss’s new Government.

They offered to meet with the new team at Downing Street to bring them up to speed with the trade bodies’ priorities.

In their letter, they said: “The successful passage of the Energy Bill could be your Government’s first major legislative victory.

“As the first dedicated energy legislation in a decade, your Government has an opportunity to ensure policy and regulation keeps pace with our ever-evolving energy system, delivering the right infrastructure, in the right place, at the right time.

“The Bill can not only help overcome the unprecedented challenges the sector faces today, but also ensure the country capitalises on the immense opportunities as we transition to net zero.

“A recommitment to the Bill would be a welcome signal that your Government remains committed to not only net zero, but the UK’s booming green energy industries.”

The letter was signed by the chief executives of the Energy Networks Association, David Smith; the Association for Decentralised Energy, Lily Frencham; the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Ruth Herbert; the Energy and Utilities Alliance, Mike Foster; the Global Infrastructure Investor Association, Lawrence Slade; Hydrogen UK, Clare Jackson; Nuclear Industry Association, Tom Greatrex; and Dhara Vyas, the director of advocacy at Energy UK.

They added: “We would therefore be delighted to work with you and your team in Number 10 Downing Street as the Bill passes through Parliament.

“As a first step, CEOs (chief executive officers) of our respective trade bodies would be happy to brief your policy team on our collective priorities.”

Ms Truss is due to announce her plan to protect households and businesses from crippling energy costs while ramping up domestic supply tomorrow (September 8).

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