Boris Johnson is preparing to return to the UK amid mounting criticism over his inability to cut short his Caribbean vacation to deal with rising tensions in the Middle East.
The prime minister, who celebrated New Years with his girlfriend on the private Mosquito Island, has so far not commented on the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top general.
Expected to return to Downing Street in the next few hours, Mr Johnson is under increasing pressure from opposition leaders to make a statement on the murder of Major General Qassem Soleimani.
But shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry accused Mr Johnson of “getting tanned while drinking vodka martinis elsewhere and not being careful.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that he was in “constant contact” with Mr Johnson, adding: “The prime minister is in charge.”
A government source also defended the prime minister, saying “he has been kept fully informed …” at all times.
“And he will meet with ministers on Monday and speak to foreign leaders over the next few days,” they said.
Jeremy Corbyn said the “assassination” risked “an extremely serious escalation of a dangerous conflict with global consequences by a belligerent US president.”
“Boris Johnson should have immediately cut his vacation short to deal with an issue that could have serious consequences for the UK and the world,” he added. added the outgoing Labor leader.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who is running for Labor leader, asked “is he afraid to make Trump angry?” in an article by The Observer.
“Or is it just that, as he basks in the Caribbean sun, he just doesn’t care, an exact copy of Iran’s jaded approach he took in 2018 – when he was Foreign Minister and that Trump was driving the nuclear deal to destruction – and the year before he recklessly compromised the fate of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe? “
US sends 3,000 additional troops to Kuwait after Iran threatened revenge for President Donald Trump’s permission to attack Baghdad on Friday.
Raab is expected to meet his French and German counterparts during the week before meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Thursday.
He called for calm and urged all aggressors to defuse themselves after the murder of Iranian elite force leader Quds and mastermind of regional security strategy.
Travel advice to Britons across the Middle East has been stepped up, as the Navy will begin accompanying British-flagged ships on the key Strait of Hormuz oil route.
Earlier, John McDonnell of the Labor Party vowed at an anti-war protest in Downing Street to pressure Mr Johnson over the attack, which “will set the Middle East and the world on fire again”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will give his first TV interview since the escalation of the crisis to Sky News’s Sophy Ridge this morning starting at 8:30 a.m.