Russian spy: Amber Rudd visits Salisbury and confirms Sergei Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition after being poisoned with nerve agent

Home Secretary described attack as 'outrageous' before meeting with seriously ill officer 

Peter Stubley
Friday 09 March 2018 11:05
Amber Rudd confirms Sergei Skripal and daughter remain in critical condition

Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are still fighting for their lives in hospital following the "outrageous" nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the Home Secretary has revealed.

Amber Rudd did not provide any new details about the poison used as she visited the scene before meeting with the police officer who was left seriously ill after tending to the victims.

"I understand people's curiosity about all those questions, wanting to have answers and there will be a time to have those answers," said Ms Rudd.

"In terms of further options, that will have to wait until we're absolutely clear what the consequences could be and what the actual source of this nerve agent has been."

Mr Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury at around 4.15pm on Sunday. They remain in a critical but stable condition in intensive care at Salisbury District Hospital.

Serjeant Nick Bailey from Wiltshire Police is in a "serious but stable" condition at the same hospital after he went to the aid of Mr Skripal and his daughter. Eighteen other people have been treated following the attack.

Asked about their condition, Ms Rudd said: "Still very serious for the two people who were indeed the subject of this outrageous attack and for the police officer, I understand it's still serious, although he's still conversing and engaging.''

Ms Rudd later made a private visit to Salisbury District Hospital and met with DS Bailey.

Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said in a statement: "In addition to the three inpatients receiving treatment, in line with Public Health England guidance which asked anyone who was in the area and concerned to come forward if feeling unwell, we have seen and assessed a number of people who did not require further treatment.

"The expert advice is that there is no evidence to suggest a wider public health risk at this time. If anyone is concerned about their health or displaying symptoms which give any cause for concern, they should dial 111 or 999 depending on the severity of their symptoms.

"We are very proud of our staff and we would like to use this opportunity to thank them for the professionalism and the way they have responded to this incident."

Investigators believe Mr Skripal may have become a target after using his contacts in the intelligence community to carry out freelance work for private security firms.

He was jailed in Russia for 13 years in 2006 for passing secrets to MI6 but moved to the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap".

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