BORIS Johnson shouldn’t be cosying up to Saudi Arabia and begging them to produce more fossil fuels - it’s simply switching reliance from one authoritarian state to another.

In the current political landscape replacing warmonger Putin’s oil and gas with fuels from a country which executed 81 men in one day apparently looks like an easy solution to the Tories in Westminster.

Johnson is reportedly set to visit the country’s capital Riyadh to ask the Saudi's to boost their oil and gas production amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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The move signals a willing moral blindness to human rights abuses and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen created by Saudi-led forces.

If there was any genuine concern for households facing continually rising energy bills then the UK Government would be imposing a windfall tax on energy firms and using that cash to cut costs for consumers.

They would be ramping up the transition towards renewable energies, and cutting oil and gas dependence for good.

If there are any fears over creating a reliance on the fossil fuels of yet another dictatorial and aggressive state, the messaging coming from the UK Government does not address them.

The National:

Johnson is reportedly due to visit Saudi Arabia

The issue of supply is paramount - we are not in a position yet to completely move away from fossil fuels - but are the Tories really willing to provide more validity to a regime where torture is used as punishment, executions are on the increase and where women and girls are considered legally to be subordinate to men, in the meantime?

Not to mention that no protest is allowed in the Gulf state, but support coming from the party which introduced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - which sets out to do the same thing - this should not be a surprise.

The UN’s latest estimates put the number of refugees in Ukraine at 2.5 million. In Yemen, UNICEF estimates 21m people are in need of humanitarian assistance - 11m of them children.

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Replacing Russian supplies with Saudi Arabia does not solve the problem, and it risks validating the Saudi royal family on the world stage.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s get-out that the UK has a “very candid and frank” relationship with the Gulf state isn’t good enough if they are still supplying the country with £20bn worth of weapons that are being used on the people of Yemen.

The National:

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon, left, Johnson, right. 

It shows the lengths they are willing to go to to avoid taxing big energy firms, and that as long as you have the money or something they need, the Tories will be willing to facilitate.

The PM should cancel the visit - as the Scottish Greens have called for - but he won’t.

The UK Government has clearly learnt nothing from cosying up to Russian oligarchs - getting in bed with another oil-rich dictator is simply ensuring that history repeats itself.