tiptrot.com April 25, 2018

Britain's Boris Johnson accused of misleading public over Skripal poisoning evidence

07 April 2018, 09:36 | Bernice Figueroa

Mr Skripal and his daughter stand outside the front door with another relative during a previous visit she made to the UK

Mr Skripal and his daughter stand outside the front door with another relative during a previous visit she made to the UK

It was very convenient for the government to use it as a way of diverting attention away from Brexit and economic policy.

The head of Porton Down laboratories has since said that they could only determine the substance used was Novichok, and not where it came from.

Gary Aitkenhead, the CEO of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), more commonly known as Porton Down, told Sky News in a pre-recorded interview on Tuesday that they were able to identify the poison as novichok, and that it was a military-grade nerve agent.

Among those hauling Johnson over the coals for his DW interview was the oppostion Labour Party Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who retweeted a post featuring an edited clip from the interview.

Labour, which is the UK's main opposition party, pointed to an interview given to German TV in which Mr Johnson was challenged on his claim that Russian Federation was the source of the Novichok nerve agent.

"I asked the guy myself, I said, 'Are you sure?' And he said there's no doubt", Johnson said.

Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, told Sky News that although the substance used in the attack had been identified as Novichok - a class of chemical weapons developed in the former Soviet Union and Russian Federation - it was not clear whether it had been made in Russian Federation.

"At the end of the day it is pretty clear that Boris Johnson was not telling the truth", the Derby North MP said.

"The Foreign Office then issued a tweet in support of what the Foreign Secretary said, and then removed that yesterday after Porton Down had said they couldn't identify the source of it".

Paul Waugh tweeted "Just found this cached tweet of @foreignoffice, now appears to be deleted.Big Qs for FCO".

In an awkward development for the Foreign Office, the Russian embassy's Twitter feed pointed out that the 20 March tweet on a presentation by Britain's ambassador to Moscow on the Salisbury attack had disappeared.

Russian Federation has seized upon the discrepancies as evidence it had no role in the poisoning.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, seized on the interview, and the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom subsequently highlighted a deleted Foreign.

The Foreign Office said the tweet had been part of a real-time account of a speech by the UK's ambassador in Moscow and was deleted because it "did not accurately report our Ambassador's words". He remains in serious but stable condition in a hospital; Yulia Skripal is awake and alert.

He added: "28 other countries have been so convinced by United Kingdom case they have expelled Russians". "Nothing has changed", German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters on Wednesday.

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