The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 11:24

‘Highly likely’ Russia behind spy poisoning

Theresa May chaired a meeting of the national security council this morning to discuss the nerve agent attack on the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. Following the meeting, May has told the Commons that it is ‘highly likely’ Russia was behind the spy poisoning attack. 

May has been under pressure to announce retaliatory measures against Russia should evidence show involvement of the foreign state. The Prime Minister has given Russia until Wednesday to respond to the accusations.

The White House has released a statement, saying it is monitoring the spy poisoning incident and offers “fullest condemnation” standing by their “closest ally”

On Peston on Sunday, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the UK will need to respond in a “appropriate, measure and sensible way” should there be evidence of a foreign state being involved in the Skripal poisoning. Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell has said that he won’t be making any more appearances on Kremlin sponsored TV station, Russia Today and he has urged other Labour MPs to do the same. Conservative back-bencher Jacob Rees Mogg described Russia as ‘a real threat to our country.’

Some MPs have been pushing for a UK version of the so-called “Magnitsky Act”, which could see foreign officials involved in corruption and human rights abuses subject to asset freezes and visa bans.

Follow @speakerpolitics for more as this story develops.

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