Putin ‘wants to make our flesh shudder,’ Boris Johnson tells leaders in Davos – latest updates


Boris Johnson next to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko in Davos – TBEN Photo

Boris Johnson compared Vladimir Putin to “the fat boy in Dickens” who wants to give us goosebumps when he attended an event with Volodymyr Zelensky.

The former prime minister made the reference during a breakfast meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos as he insisted the Russian leader not use nuclear weapons.

There were standing room only at the event involving Mr. Johnson and the President of Ukraine, who attended virtually.

Mr Johnson said the focus should be entirely on helping Ukraine and not trying to doubt Russia’s next move.

He said: “It’s hard to know what’s going to happen in British politics, let alone the Kremlin”.

Larry Fink, David Solomon, Mark Rutte and Chrystia Freeland also attended the event. Liam TBEN sat on the table of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Read the latest updates below.

7:24 am

Boohoo earnings tumble as UK and US businesses suffer

Online fashion company Boohoo has confirmed it saw a major drop in sales in the last four months of 2022 due to the impact on its US and UK businesses.

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The company said sales were down 11 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

The slowdown in the international market was due to the company’s delivery times starting to get longer.

Models showcase Boohoo X Kourtney Kardashian creations on the High Line during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan - REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

Models showcase Boohoo X Kourtney Kardashian creations on the High Line during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan – REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

7:21 am

Putin will “not use nuclear weapons,” Johnson insists

Boris Johnson took a line from the Pickwick Papers when he described Vladimir Putin as the “fat kid in Dickens” because of his threat of nuclear war.

Economics editor Szu Ping Chan is in the room in Davos:

He said, “We shouldn’t get into this whole thing of presenting the war as a nuclear standoff between NATO and Russia.”

He described this story as “bullshit”, adding, “He’s not going to use nuclear weapons.”

Mr Johnson took a line from the Pickwick Papers saying “He wants to corner us. He wants us to think about it. He never will.”

He says perseverance would paralyze the world completely.

He added: “The Chinese would turn against him en masse and he would terrify the Russians. He’s not going to do it, so don’t go down that rabbit hole.”

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7:17 am

Good morning

There were standing room only when Boris Johnson spoke this morning at a breakfast meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The former prime minister insisted that Vladimir Putin was not taking the threat of nuclear war seriously during the session virtually attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Johnson said a nuclear switch would turn the Chinese and Russian populations against him.

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What happened from one day to the next

Asian stocks opened lower on Thursday as concerns about economic growth overshadowed optimism that central banks will ease policy tightening.

Hong Kong equities led to declines, with notable weakness in technology companies, and Japanese equities were also markedly lower. Futures for the S&P 500 fell after the benchmark closed 1.6 percent on Wednesday, the biggest drop in a month.

Shares in Tokyo also fell, with the Nikkei 225 index falling 1.10 percent to 26,495.26 in early trading and the broader Topix index losing 0.90 percent to 1,917.52.

The dollar stood at 128.41 yen and fell from 128.80 yen in New York overnight.

Meanwhile, New Zealand stocks are largely shaking news that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will step down next month, falling just 0.1 percent.