Merseyside MP calls Ukrainian president ‘a true leader’ after historic address to parliament

Conservative MP Damien Moore has spoken to ministers about helping Ukrainian refugees.

A Southport MP has called on an ‘international community approach’ to deal with Russia and urged the government to move ‘at pace’ to help Ukrainian refugees.

Damien Moore, who has been a Conservative MP for Southport since 2017, was in the House of Commons on Tuesday when the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave an historic address to parliament.

President Zelensky spoke to MPs in an unprecedented speech broadcast live to the House of Commons, which you can watch above.

Mr Moore described the speech to BBC Radio Merseyside as ‘historical, significant and extremely moving’.

Damien Moore, the Conservative MP for Southport

He said: “One of the most important parts of that was when he spoke to us he used our own history, he used Shakespeare, ‘to be or not to be’ and said that Ukraine wanted to be a free nation.

“He invoked Churchill saying we will fight them all over Ukraine, we will fight these Russian invaders as Churchill said in the House of Commons about Nazi Germany.”

Zelensky has a background as a comedian and had no previous experience of politics when elected less than three years ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses MPs in the House of Commons via videolink.

Mr Moore said: “For someone that was not involved in politics for most of his life to become president and to step up and to lead in this way is hugely important and unprecedented.

“We don’t really see this around the world, somebody who has his background and comes into politics and literally then has to fight.

“You often have political battles, but they are they are not real battles where you are going into combat and to see him there in army dress, to see him fighting amongst his people against Russian troops is incredibly moving, incredibly significant and something we can all admire.

“He’s a true leader in every sense of the word.”

Ukranian officials said on Wednesday that Russia had bombed a hospital in the southern city of Mariupol reportedly hitting a maternity and children’s ward.

Mr Moore, who has a member of staff from Ukraine, said the UK was doing a lot to help but needed to do more including helping speed up visa applications to get people to safety as soon as possible.

He said: “I spoke to ministers yesterday and was urging them to send consular and embassy officials from all over Europe to speed things up on the ground and get people to safety as soon as we can.

“We can arm the Ukrainian people give them the military and technical support they need but we need to move pretty much now towards getting the situation resolved through the international community, tightening up on the Putin regime and making sure they are brought to the table and understand this is not acceptable and coming to a peaceful resolution.

“The balance is we are we are dealing with an unstable regime and we do not know what they may do next.

“Seeing some of the footage of the attack on a nuclear power station which would have been devastating if that had been hit and the fallout from that.

“We are not dealing with the normal rules of engagement here so we have to be incredibly careful in the way we handle this.”