Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had previously claimed in an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that “people from Porton Down … were absolutely categorical” that Russia was the source of the nerve agent used to attack Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last month.

Advertisement

And, in complete contrast to Theresa May’s nuanced and cautious stance on the possible origin of the nerve agent, Johnson went further, stating that:

“I asked the guy myself. I said “are you sure?” and he said “there’s no doubt”

Advertisement
Advertisement

However, in an interview with Sky News on Tuesday, the Chief Executive of Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead completely contradicted the Foreign Secretary’s claims, stating that whilst the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down were able to identify it as Novichok, they had not been able to trace the origin of the nerve agent used in Salisbury back to Russia.

Aitkenhead confirmed that they were able to identify it as Novichok, and that it was a military grade nerve agent, but they had “not verified the precise source“.

And, when again challenged by the interviewer who asked “but you have not been able to establish at Porton Down that this was made in Russia?“, Aitkenhead replied “it’s not our job to say where it was manufactured“, but went on to confirm that it should have been possible for them to scientifically verify where the nerve agent was made:

Sign up to be notified of new Evolve Politics articles

I accept the Privacy Policy

Advertisement

The claim by Porton Down’s Chief Executive that their labs had not been able to identify the origin of the nerve agent categorically proves that the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was lying.

For a sitting Government Minister to have lied about something so serious is clearly a sackable offense – and without question should have been headline news. Yet the editors of BBC News had other ideas, demoting the story way down their homepage, and not even bothering to mention the fact that Johnson’s lies had been exposed:

Advertisement
Advertisement

But then when you consider that just a few hours earlier the BBC News were running a story blasting Jeremy Corbyn for celebrating Seder with a Jewish group in his own constituency – a story which contained only criticism of Corbyn, despite numerous mainstream Jewish figures backing him up – it’s ridiculously obvious to see exactly what’s going on:

Advertisement

The BBC may claim to be impartial, and it may attempt to laud itself as a veritable bastion of truth, but it has become increasingly obvious that they have now begun a slow and disgraceful descent into the sort of underhand reporting that would, ironically, be more at home in Putin’s Russia than in the United Kingdom.

[This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the Ed Miliband tweet featured in a previous incarnation of this piece was – despite somehow getting thousands of retweets – not Mr Miliband’s real account. Evolve Politics is happy to clarify the error.]

Evolve Politics needs your help!

If you value the work we do, please consider subscribing for as little as £1 a month, or donating any small amount you can comfortably afford without encountering hardship.

All subscriptions and donations go to our writers and researchers to produce the work we publish. Despite also earning a small income from advertising, we literally could not continue to operate without the support of our readers

Subscribe Donate

Facebook Comments