Clive Lewis calls for 'negotiated settlement' with Russia
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Labour's Clive Lewis has called for a “negotiated settlement” with Russia and not an “escalation of military means” after the country's invasion of Ukraine.
Opposition MPs could be heard shouting "shame" after the Norwich South MP sought confirmation from Boris Johnson that the conflict should be ended by a negotiated settlement.
Mr Lewis said to the Commons: "The warm words will not defend the Ukrainian people, I have been speaking to people who had been liaising with Ukrainian trade unionists, people who have been fighting privatisation and wage cuts but they say one thing that they will not run from their homes, they will defend their families.
"Those people need to be able to defend themselves so I support the prime minister’s assertion that we will be providing more defensive capabilities for that end.
"But let me say one thing, will you agree Prime Minister that we must have an end to this by a negotiated settlement and not by an escalation of military means?"
The opposition benches could be heard shouting “shame”, as the prime minister said Vladimir Putin had missed the opportunity to avoid military escalation.
Mr Johnson said: "I think the whole House and everybody in the world would want President Putin to have chosen the path of negotiation. He had that moment. And that’s why if you remember we had that discussion in this House on Tuesday about that perilous moment which we all discussed. He had that opportunity.
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"I’m afraid he’s missed it. He’s chosen the path of overwhelming violence and destruction. And I’m afraid that puts us on a very, very different course. And we have to accept that reality."
Mr Lewis' calls for negotiation came after the prime minister announced the UK would issue Russia with the “largest and most severe” package of sanctions it has ever faced.
The sanctions include asset freezes on banks and 100 new individuals and oligarchs.