British diplomats to be expelled from Moscow in retaliation, Russian ambassador says – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs and May’s Commons statement announcing retaliation against Russia after the Russian spy attack

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the UK, has confirmed that British diplomats will be expelled from Moscow. Asked in an interview with Sky News about what would happen after May’s statement, he said:

There will be expulsions. As you understand in diplomatic practice, there will be answers from the Russian side.

In diplomacy, there is always reciprocity.

We consider these measures made by the British government absolutely unacceptable, and I’ll tell you why. We believe Britain should follow international law. Under obligations under the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, if they have any suspicions on nerve gas or something like that, they have to make an application to the organisation and make a request. And, so far, we did not get any samples.

The Labour MP Chuka Umunna has criticised Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s strategy and communications director, for what he said in his briefing earlier (see 2.04pm and 2.44pm) about the case against Russia being unproven.

Have read the comments of the Leader of the Opposition’s spokesperson. Mr Milne’s comments do not represent the views of the majority of our voters, members or MPs. We’ll get abuse for saying so but where British lives have been put at risk it is important to be clear about this.

I understand that Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman Seumas Milne has claimed there is no proof that Russia is behind the nerve gas attack in Salisbury. Well Seumas has form on these matters.

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