In response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on the latest developments on the former Russian spy allegedly poisoned in Salisbury earlier this month, the Labour leader said it was a matter of “huge regret” for his party that the UK had been deprived of funds to its diplomatic services, blaming the alleged attack on the Government’s cuts.
Jeremy Corbyn said: “It is a matter of huge regret that our country’s diplomatic capacity has been stripped back with cuts of 25 per cent in the last five years.
“It is in moments such as this that governments must realise how vital strong diplomacy and political pressure are for our security and national interest.”
As the Labour leader was interrupted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, he said: “I couldn’t understand a word of what the Foreign Secretary just said, but his behaviour demeans his office.”
Following the stern attack on Mr Johnson, Parliament erupted.
The Prime Minister gave Russian President Vladimir Putin until Tuesday evening to respond to allegations the Kremlin may have been involved in the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
During her statement, Mrs May announced that 23 Russian diplomats she branded “undeclared intelligence officers” have a week to leave the country following last weeks attack on former spy Sergei Skripal.
Moscow has denied any involvement in the poisoning, rubbishing the UK’s claims and claiming they are part of an anti-Russian campaign.
Speaking this lunchtime, the Prime Minister said: “The UK government concluded it was highly likely Russia was responsible for this attack.
“Either this was a direct attack by the Russian state against our country or conceivably the country could have lost control of the military grade nerve agent.
“Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of this situation.”
The Foreign Office has called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to update members on the investigation.
Russia, also a member of the Security Council, has denied any involvement in the attack.
The Foreign Office said: “The UK has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to update Council members on the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.”