Why Porton Down not confirming Russia made Salisbury nerve agent is super awkward for Boris Johnson

‘This idiocy has gone too far’: Kremlin says Theresa May and Boris Johnson must APOLOGISE over claims Russia poisoned spy Sergei Skripal after Porton Down admitted they cannot prove where the nerve agent was made

-Experts say they cannot confirm nerve agent used to poison spy was from Russia

-Gary Aitkenhead is the chief executive of the Porton Down defence laboratory

-He said Russia is ‘not verified the precise source’ of the Novichok nerve agent

-Added that its deployment was ‘probably only within capability of a state actor’

-Salisbury’s MP John Glen said he has no doubt Russia was behind the attack

-And he revealed police are looking at who was on the flight with Yulia Skripal

Chief exec Gary Aitkenhead said: “We, in terms of our role, were able to identify it as novichok, to identify it was a military grade nerve agent.

“We have not verified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific information to the government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they’ve come to.”

They were part of the process of identifying the source, but they were never going to be able to do it on their own.

It required other intelligence from other sources to come to the Government’s judgement that it was most likely made and used by Russia.

But this causes a problem for Boris Johnson

Here’s what he said in an interview on March 20.

“Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory … [They have samples]

“And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.”

Here’s what the government said today

A Government spokesperson said: ” We have been clear from the very beginning that our world leading experts at Porton Down identified the substance used in Salisbury as a Novichok , a military grade nerve agent.

“This is only one part of the intelligence picture. As the Prime Minister has set out in a number of statements to the Commons since 12 March, this includes our knowledge that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents probably for assassination – and as part of this programme has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks; Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views former intelligence officers as targets.

So what do you think?

Tell us in the comments.

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5574077/Experts-confirm-nerve-agent-used-poison-spy-Russia.html
Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/porton-down-not-confirming-russia-12297909

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