Truss election process ‘far from democratic’, claims Putin

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Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed the process which led to Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister was “far from democratic”.

Mr Putin, viewed as a pariah in Westminster and elsewhere following his invasion of Ukraine, said the UK public had not been given a say over the change in No 10.

Ms Truss succeeded Boris Johnson as Prime Minister after winning the support of Tory members in the party’s leadership contest.

Speaking in Vladivostok, Mr Putin said: “In the UK, the procedure for electing the head of state is far from democratic.

“It takes place within the framework of the party that won the previous parliamentary election.

“The UK people do not participate in the change of government in this case.”

Mr Putin’s most recent election, in 2018, saw him secure more than 75% of the vote, but his most prominent opponents were prevented from standing.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that election “lacked genuine competition” and “took place in an overly-controlled legal and political environment marked by continued pressure on critical voices”.

Mr Putin used his appearance at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok to claim that Russia had not “lost anything” as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, despite Western sanctions.

“Russia has resisted the economic, financial and technological aggression of the West,” he said.

“I’m sure that we haven’t lost anything and we won’t lose anything.

“The most important gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty, it’s an inevitable result of what’s going on.”