UK politics live: London mayor backs plan to house refugees in oligarch mansions as squatters occupy Deripaska house

Good morning. At the weekend Russia launched a missile attack on a military base in western Ukraine less than 15 miles from the border with Poland. The strike has heightened fears of the conflict escalating, and this morning Sajid Javid, the health secretary and the minister giving interviews on behalf of the government this morning, said that if a “single Russian toecap” were to step on Nato territory, that would be considered an act of war. He told the Today programme this morning:


We’ve made it very clear to the Russians even before the start of this conflict. Even if a single Russian toecap steps into Nato territory, then it will be considered an act of war.

But Javid also said he thought a Russian attack on Nato territory was “very unlikely”.

Not for the first time, the UK government’s messaging dovetails with Washington’s. This is what President Biden said on Twitter at the end of last week.

President Biden
(@POTUS)

I want to be clear: We will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full might of a united and galvanized NATO.

But we will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine.

A direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War III. And something we must strive to prevent.


March 11, 2022

I will post more from Javid’s interviews shortly.

Here is the agenda for the day.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

3.15pm: Tony Danker, director general of the CBI, and other experts give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about sanctions against Russia.

After 3.30pm: Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, makes a statement to MPs about the Homes for Ukraine programme.

4pm: Officials involved in the Palace of Westminster restoration and renewal project give evidence to the Commons public accounts committee.

Also today Boris Johnson is meeting fellow leaders from countries contributing to the Joint Expeditionary Force, the north European security coalition (Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and the UK).

And Dominic Raab, the justice secretary and deputy PM, is travelling to The Hague today to offer help to the international criminal court in gathering evidence to support war crimes prosecutions against Russians who have committed atrocities in Ukraine.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com.



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