Boris slammed for shunning UK to strike Saudi energy deal: 'Two wrongs don't make a right'


Mr Johnson will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, before travelling to Riyadh to speak with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is understood that he will use the trip to build an “international coalition” against Russia and to help the West “wean itself off” Russian oil and gas. The Prime Minister is expected to use tho trip to try and persuade Gulf states to boost their own production of oil and gas.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the PM said: “The brutal and unprovoked assault President Putin has unleashed on Ukraine will have far-reaching consequences for the world, well beyond Europe’s borders.

“The UK is building an international coalition to deal with the new reality we face.

“The world must wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons and starve Putin’s addiction to oil and gas.

“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are key international partners in that effort.

“We will work with them to ensure regional security, support the humanitarian relief effort and stabilise global energy markets for the longer term.”

However, there is growing animosity over the move, not least due to the Saudi government’s poor human rights record.

On Saturday, they carried out a mass execution of 81 men in one day.

But there are also questions being asked as Mr Johnson appears to be overlooking the UK’s potential to supply itself.

Shadow climate and net zero secretary, Ed Miliband, said it was “a sign of our vulnerability and energy insecurity as a country” that the PM “felt it necessary to go to Saudi Arabia” in spite of human rights issues.

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He added: “Once again it demonstrates that the best solution to the energy crisis we face is a green energy sprint at home so once and for all we end our dependence on fossil fuels.”

And he was not alone in his criticism. With many members of the public taking to social media to share their fury.

Laura Drane tweeted: “Two wrongs don’t make a right – Boris Johnson to visit Saudi Arabia in bid to ditch Russian oil.”

Glen Chevannes added: “So Boris is off to Saudi to plead for an increase in oil production.

“Surely now, with the cost of renewable energy being lower than ever, it is time to stop the addiction to fossil fuels.”

And Barbara Sutton said: “Boris Johnson: Let’s not be dependent on the Russian dictatorship for energy. I choose the Saudis instead.”

It comes as there is already said to be a split in Government over the response to the energy crisis.

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Some, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, are understood to be pushing for a return to fracking.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has fracking is not the answer to high energy prices.

He added that the UK will instead push deeper into renewables and nuclear power to protect itself from the energy crisis.

Mr Johnson said that a new national energy strategy will be set out next week as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to drive up energy prices.

He said: “What (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is doing in Ukraine is causing global uncertainty and a spike in the price of oil, that feeds through to the forecourts in the UK and everybody can see the effect of the increase in gas prices.

“Next week, we’re going to be setting out the energy strategy for the UK, massive jump forward on renewables, more nuclear, using our own hydrocarbons more effectively, also looking at what we can do to source hydrocarbons from places other than Russia.”

He stressed the need to double the pace of construction of wind farms.


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