Labour demands probe into whether Boris Johnson misled the public on Russia

Posted On: 
5th April 2018

Labour has demanded an investigation into whether Boris Johnson “misled” the country over the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Boris Johnson caused a major PR gaffe for the Government in its diplomatic offensive against Russia
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary has been condemned for saying Porton Down told him the Novichok poison used against ex-spy Sergei Skripal came from Russia - only to be contradicted by the defence lab itself.

Boss of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Gary Aitkenhead on Tuesday said it was not his job to identify where the deadly substance came from - only what it was.

Boris Johnson accuses Jeremy Corbyn of ‘siding with Russia’ in ongoing row over Salisbury attack

ANALYSIS Boris Johnson has shot himself in the foot on Russia - but the facts have not changed

Jeremy Corbyn: Boris Johnson has egg on his face over 'Russian nerve agent' claims

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson had been left with “egg on his face” as the party called on Theresa May to launch a probe into whether the ministerial code was breached.

Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Trickett said the Foreign Secretary had "serious questions to answer".

"He clearly previously indicated that Porton Down had told him 'categorically' that Russia was the source of the nerve agent," he said.

But Mr Johnson took to Twitter to defend himself as he accused the Labour leader of choosing to “side with the Russian spin machine”.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office was forced to delete a tweet also saying Porton Down had confirmed the Novichok had come from Russia.

The Foreign Office explained that a comment from the British ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, was Tweeted inaccurately.

Elsewhere, The Times reports that security services believe they have located the exact facility in Russia where the weapon was developed.

It comes as the independent Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons rejected a bid by Russia for a joint inquiry into the case.

Mr Johnson hailed the dismissal as a victory against Moscow in its attempts to “obscure the truth” and “derail the proper international process”.