Sajid Javid to chair emergency Cobra meeting after second Novichok poisoning

Posted On: 
5th July 2018

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will today chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra committee on the investigation into a new Novichok poisoning case.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid Sajid Javid will host the emergency meeting later this morning
Credit: 
PA Images

A couple in Wiltshire have been left fighting for their lives in hospital after being exposed to the same Novichok nerve agent used to poison former-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury earlier this year.

Mr Javid announced that he would be chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee to discuss the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, adding that the incident “follows the reckless and barbaric attack which took place in Salisbury in March”.

Bob Seely: If we are to counter Russian 'hybrid' war, we must understand it

Armed forces need extra £20bn a year to stand up to Russia, MPs warn

MPs raise fresh questions about Leave.EU’s Russia connections

Theresa May warns Russia against 'malign' election meddling amid chaotic G7

Russia was blamed for a targeted attack on the Skripals, leading to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK and a boycott of the World Cup by British officials and the Royals.

But police say that there is no evidence to suggest that this latest poisoning was a targeted attack.

A senior government source told the Press Association that the most likely explanation was that the pair, who live only miles away from where the Skripals were poisoned, had encountered Novichok left over from the March attack.

“They have never been able to ascertain the item used to deposit the Novichok and it’s possible the pair have come in contact with that item”, the source explained.

Another government source said that the case had raised questions over the effectiveness of the containment and clean-up following the poisoning of the Skripals.

“Novichok doesn’t evaporate”, the source told the Evening Standard.

“Incineration is the most effective method. But they are not going to burn Salisbury down.”