09:38 GMT01 December 2020
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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)

    UK Foreign Secretary has now been called out by Russian officials, British politicians and thousands of social media users on his misleading claim on the origin of the Novichok nerve agent in Sergei Skripal's poisoning. Boris Johnson, however, doesn't seem to mind. The best defense is a good offense - seems to be his thinking.

    The leader of the Labour Party has on March 4 reminded the British public in a televised interview that Boris Johnson has "claimed on German television that this was a Russian produced nerve agent, and Porton Down then examined it and said all they could identify was as Novichok, they couldn't say where it came from."

    "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," Mr. Corbyn said. 

    The Russian embassy in the UK has questioned the motives behind Foreign Office's action, reproducing a screenshot of the deleted tweet. 

    Johnson's claims and the UK Foreign Office's actions have caused a massive row on social media, with users dismayed by how the UK PM Theresa May and her cabinet, especially Boris Johnson, dealt with the Skripal poisoning case. Hashtags #BorisMustGo and #TakeMayToo appeared on users' posts. 

    READ MORE: Russian Embassy's Eagle Eye Gets UK Foreign Office in Trouble Over Deleted Tweet

    Instead of addressing his original misleading claim that pointed to the Russian president Vladimir Putin as the man behind the poisoning attack, Johnson decided to take it to Twitter to attack Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of "playing Russia's game and trying to discredit the UK over Salisbury attack."

    Johnson followed the tweet with two more posts, claiming "Russia has motive for targeting Sergei Skripal." No links to official reports or investigation were included in the tweets. 

    If the British or — for that matter — international public expected the UK Foreign Secretary to provide some form of evidence to support his bold statements, they would most certainly be disappointed. Twitter commentators, however, couldn't keep calm following Johnson's most recent rant. 

    On March 4, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the UK city of Salisbury. The United Kingdom believes the two were exposed to the A234 nerve agent, related to the Novichok-class nerve agents developed in the Soviet Union.

    Soon after the incident, the United Kingdom announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomatic workers. Over 25 countries have since expelled Russian diplomats "in solidarity" with London. Moscow has denied having any role in the poisoning, pointing to the lack of evidence provided by London to substantiate its accusations.    

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)


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    nerve agent, social media, Porton Down facility, British Foreign Office, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Russia, United Kingdom
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