Salisbury Incident

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:34 pm on 12th September 2018.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security) 2:34 pm, 12th September 2018

I totally reject the suggestion that we were somehow putting out lines similar to those of the Russian state. With regard to implications that the hon. Gentleman is trying to make about the Leader of the Opposition, I have looked carefully at what the Leader of the Opposition and his spokesperson have said about this in recent weeks, and it is pretty clear. His spokesperson has said:

“very strong evidence points to Russian state culpability, and obviously Jeremy condemns the Russian state for that culpability.”

How much clearer could you be? The Leader of the Opposition said on 26 March:

“Based on the analysis conducted by Government scientists, there can be little doubt that the nerve agent used in this attack was military-grade Novichok of a type manufactured by Russia.”—[Official Report, 26 March 2018;
Vol. 638, c. 559.]

He said on 5 September:

“The use of military nerve agents on the streets of Britain is an outrage and beyond reckless.”

He also said:

“No Government anywhere can or should put itself above international law. The Prime Minister previously outlined that the type of nerve agent used was identified as having been manufactured in Russia. The use of this nerve agent is a clear violation of the chemical weapons convention and, therefore, a breach of international law.”—[Official Report, 5 September 2018;
Vol. 646, c. 170-171.]