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‘Unthinkable’ that Boris Johnson met ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev alone after Salisbury poisonings, Yvette Cooper says | Politics News


Boris Johnson confirmed a “careless disregard for nationwide safety” in holding a non-public assembly with an ex-KGB agent within the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, Labor has stated.

Shadow residence secretary Yvette Cooper informed Sky Information’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday program it was “irresponsible” and “unthinkable” that Mr Johnson, who was then overseas secretary, would have such an encounter with out officers being current following the chemical assault on UK soil.

The opposition frontbencher repeated requires an investigation afterwards Mr. Johnson informed MPs he “definitely” met Russian oligarch and former Night Commonplace proprietor, Alexander Lebedev, in Italy unaccompanied in April 2018.

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This was only one month after the lethal Salisbury Novichok nerve agent assault, which provoked worldwide condemnation of the Russian chief Vladimir Putin, who rejected claims of Kremlin involvement.

Ministers initially informed the Commons final week that Mr Johnson had reported the assembly to officers “as required”, however issued a clarification inside minutes saying the prime minister “thinks” he talked about it to civil servants.

The controversy has fueled opposition calls for for the prime minister to stop following him instantly resignation as Tory chief and never grasp on in Downing Avenue till his substitute is elected.

Ms Cooper informed Ridge: “I believe the difficulty is about whether or not you will have any person who’s simply careless about nationwide safety pursuits. We do not know what occurred at this assembly, we do not even know whether or not the prime minister truly declared the assembly correctly or informed officers about it afterwards.”

She added: “It simply feels unthinkable that at a time once we had a chemical assault on UK soil, and it was so severe that we had a NATO assembly about it, about how to reply to Russia, at the moment you’ll be able to have a overseas secretary who would then simply go and have a gathering with an ex-KGB agent, somebody who has since been sanctioned by Canada for shut hyperlinks to Putin.

“To have that assembly at the moment reveals a careless disregard for nationwide safety dangers. We truly must know the information about what occurred and why on earth he was so irresponsible with our nationwide safety at the moment.”

The nerve agent attack in Salisbury led to international condemnation of Moscow
Photographs:
The nerve agent assault in Salisbury led to worldwide condemnation of Moscow

Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings has additionally alleged the prime minister met Mr Lebedev initially of the COVID-19 disaster in March 2020, with out officers current.

It comes amid an inquiry by the Commons Intelligence and Safety Committee over the appointment to the Home of Lords in 2020 of Mr Lebedev’s son, Yevgeny Lebedevthe proprietor of the London Night Commonplace and a shareholder in The Unbiased.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied that he intervened to make sure Lord Lebedev was provided a peerage regardless of being warned by British intelligence that the transfer may pose a safety risk.

The peer, whose full title is Baron Lebedev of Hampton and Siberia, has stated he has “nothing to cover” and backed the publication recommendation linked to his appointment.

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