Family of police officer left seriously ill from nerve agent attack criticises Jeremy Corbyn for refusal to blame Russia

'He seems to have been a bit mealy-mouthed about Russia’s involvement'

Peter Stubley
Friday 16 March 2018 13:48 GMT
DS Bailey remains in a stable condition in hospital
DS Bailey remains in a stable condition in hospital (PA)

The father-in-law of the police officer left seriously ill after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury has criticised Jeremy Corbyn for his refusal to blame Russia.

William Pomeroy, 65, said the Labour leader had been "very weak" and "mealy-mouthed" in his response to the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent.

He told The Daily Telegraph that he was "very disappointed" in Mr Corbyn, who has suggested that "mafia-like groups" could be behind the use of Novichok on British soil.

Mr Pomeroy, whose daughter Sarah is married to detective sergeant Nick Bailey, added: "He’s said almost nothing about this and has come across as very weak on it.

"He seems to have been a bit mealy-mouthed about Russia’s involvement. It’s disappointing because he should be representing ordinary people like me.”

DS Bailey remains in a stable condition in hospital after being exposed to the poison while responding to the incident in Salisbury city centre on 5 March.

Yesterday, the officer was visited by Prime Minister Theresa May and both he and his wife were described as having "really appreciated this time with her".

“He is not out of the woods yet. He has been feeling very poorly, but he can talk to Sarah and the children, who’ve been visiting him regularly," said Mr Pomeroy.

"She’s really been through the mill since this happened. He’s got such a sense of duty that I think it’s almost as if he feels he’s let people down.

"I don’t know why because that’s not true. He went to help those people without hesitating.”

Mr Corbyn is facing pressure from within his own party to "unequivocally" support the Prime Minister's decision to point the finger at Russia.

He used an article in The Guardian yesterday to warn against "a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent" and a "new Cold War".

"In my years in parliament I have seen clear thinking in an international crisis overwhelmed by emotion and hasty judgments too many times," he wrote.

"Flawed intelligence and dodgy dossiers led to the calamity of the Iraq invasion."

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