Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs and May’s Commons statement announcing retaliation against Russia after the Russian spy attack
Caroline Johnson, a Conservative, says Corbyn’s spokesman made a comparison between this incident and Iraq. (See 2.04pm.) But in Iraq no weapons of mass destruction were found, she says. By contrast, she says, in Salisbury nerve agent has been found and three people are in hospital.
May agrees. She says:
It is quite wrong and outrageous that the leader of the opposition’s spokesman has made the comments in relation to this that he has.
Nato has expressed concern at “the first offensive use of a nerve agent on alliance territory since Nato’s foundation”. But it is not proposing further action, and certainly not invoking article 5, the provision that says an attack on one Nato member counts as an attack on all of them (an option the UK government has specifically ruled out.)
In a statement Nato said:
The UK confirmed the use of a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia and briefed allies that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible. The UK also confirmed that this was an indiscriminate and reckless attack against the United Kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk.
Allies expressed deep concern at the first offensive use of a nerve agent on alliance territory since Nato’s foundation. Allies expressed solidarity with the UK, offered their support in the conduct of the ongoing investigation, and called on Russia to address the UK’s questions including providing full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Allies agreed that the attack was a clear breach of international norms and agreements.