Conservative MP's son joins group of Brit ex-squaddies heading to war in Ukraine

THE son of a top MP has flown to Ukraine to fight – and said his mother has no idea he's travelled into battle.

Ben Grant, 30, who spent more than five years as a commando in the Royal Marines, is one of a group of seven ex-servicemen to arrive in the besieged country at the weekend.

He's the eldest son of Helen Grant, Tory MP for Maidstone and Boris Johnson's special envoy on girls' education.

However, he said his decision to fight the Russians was made without her knowledge, and she hadn't been informed that he'd travelled to Ukraine.

Mr Grant, a dad-of-three, told the Guardian: “I haven’t been sent, nothing to do with the Government, nothing to do with my mother.

"Just want to make that clear, completely off my own back, I decided to do this.

"I didn’t even tell my mum, but it is what it is.”

He said he chose to fly out after seeing footage of a Russian bombing of a house where a child could be heard screaming.

It comes as:

  • A Red Cross aid mission was reportedly bombed by Russia as it tried to deliver supplies to besieged Mariupol
  • Chernobyl's safety system is believed to be at risk after it was taken by Russian troops
  • Anonymous vigilantes say they've hacked TV in Russia to show footage from the frontlines of the war
  • A little girl has died alone of dehydration after her mum was slaughtered
  • MPs gave a standing ovation to President Zelenskyy after he made a moving speech tonight

He expects around 100 former forces personnel from the UK to join the group – and said some are "very, very specialist".

The Government has been divided on the issue of Brits travelling to Ukraine to fight.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said she'd back those who do make the decision to travel. However, the chief of the defence staff, Tony Radakin, has urged members of the public not to go.

"We've been very clear that it's unlawful, as well as unhelpful for UK military and for the UK population," he said.

Those who do decide to go face huge risks, not just from battle but from potential capture.

Russia's defence ministry says "mercenaries the West is sending to Ukraine" cannot be considered as combatants in accordance with international humanitarian law – or have the status of prisoners of war.

? Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the very latest updates

Mr Grant said he'd take his own life before being held prisoner.

He admitted feeling "sorry" for his family, who had seen him briefly after he travelled to work as a security contractor in Iraq, and said his decision has been a "big shock" to them.

Meanwhile, The Sun exclusively revealed a teen Coldstream Guardsman has abandoned his post to fight.

The soldier, 19, quit his Windsor barracks, left a note for his parents and booked a one-way ticket to Eastern Europe.

Defence chiefs are trying to intercept him amid fears Russia could claim Britain has entered the war if he is caught.

The missing teenager is among four British soldiers feared to have gone AWOL to fight in Ukraine.

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The rogue squaddies pose a huge security threat as they could be used by despot Putin to claim Britain has entered the war if they are found by Russian troops.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman told The Sun that all service personnel are banned from travelling to Ukraine until further notice.

He said: “This applies whether the Service Person is on leave or not. Personnel travelling to Ukraine will face disciplinary and administrative consequences.”

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