- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 7, 2022

Moscow smacked Boris Johnson on his way out the door as the U.K. prime minister signaled plans to step down after a tenure marked by a staunch defense of Ukraine but many scandals at home.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr. Johnson “really does not like us — and we [do not like] him either,” according to the BBC.

Mr. Peskov called for “more professional people” to take over at 10 Downing Street.

“But at the moment there is little hope for that,” Mr. Peskov said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy frequently praised Mr. Johnson for his support during the Russian invasion that began on Feb. 24. 

Like other leaders, Mr. Zelenskyy held off Thursday on commenting on British reports about Mr. Johnson’s pending resignation.

Mr. Johnson was badly hurt by an electoral map that turned against conservatives and revelations that he and his staff had participated in a string of lockout-defying social events, including some at 10 Downing Street, at a time when the government was enforcing strict curfew measures in Britain.

Guy Verhofstadt, a former Brexit coordinator for the European Union, took a swipe at Mr. Johnson for supporting the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European bloc, likening him to a certain American leader.

“Boris Johnson’s reign ends in disgrace, just like his friend Donald Trump. The end of an era of transatlantic populism? Let’s hope so,” Mr. Verhofstadt tweeted.  “EU - UK relations suffered hugely with Johnson’s choice of Brexit. Things can only get better!”

• Davis Sands contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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