British Prime Minister Theresa May announced suspension of high-level contacts with Russia and expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats following Moscow’s refusal to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used to poison a former double agent and his daughter. The diplomats, identified as ‘undeclared intelligence officers,’ have a week to leave. Russia denies attempted murder.
Following a poison attack on a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Monday, British investigators determined it is ‘highly likely’ Russia executed the poisoning. Investigators say the poison was a ‘military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.’ Russia denies responsibility for the attack.
Britain warned Russia their government will respond ‘robustly’ if it is discovered the Kremlin is responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian double agent who betrayed dozens of spies to British Intelligence. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, Tuesday, it would be ‘wrong to prejudge,’ but called Russia a ‘malign and disruptive force.’
Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, reshuffled her cabinet in an attempt to exhibit authority, Monday, but left her top ministers in place. Three other officials resisted May’s efforts to shuffle them, staying in their posts, which highlights May’s lack of influence. Various positions were reassigned, including education and work and pensions secretaries.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing turmoil with two new scandals following sexual harassment allegations in Parliament. International development secretary Priti Patel became the second cabinet member to resign this week after holding a dozen unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials while the foreign secretary Boris Johnson risked more time in prison for a Briton in Iran with an incorrect statement.
Sir Michael Fallon, British Secretary of State has resigned saying his behavior in the past may have “fallen below” what is acceptable. Reports of his previous inappropriate behavior towards journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer during a dinner in 2002 came to light late last month, setting the stage for his decision.
On the 20th anniversary of her death, people paid tribute to Princess Diana at her former residence, Kensington Palace. Prince William and Prince Harry, her sons, visited the palace on Wednesday. Public services are taking place across the UK, including the East London’s Mildmay Mission Hospital, which was constantly visited by the princess, when it was caring for HIV patients.
President Trump’s state visit to Britain later this year has been put on hold due to his unpopularity in the UK after his comments during the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack. According to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office, Trump has told that he did not want to visit Britain until he had more support there.
Just days before the national election in the UK, London was hit with two terror attacks, one in London Bridge and also at nearby Borough Market. Saturday night attack is the third time the UK came under a terrorist attack in the past three months. The attack has left 7 fatalities and dozens injured and receiving medical attention. Three assailants were gunned down by 8 officers and apprehended although further investigation will result in the arrest of the others involved in the crime, the Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack, although the British authorities have not confirmed these claims. Prime Minister Theresa May said that Thursday’s election will continue as scheduled.
After the Manchester bombing, the threat level in the UK has now been raised to critical. Theresa May raised the level from severe to critical saying in a televised statement that adding members of the armed forces would boost security at key sites and military personnel may be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events. ISIS have taken responsibility for the attack, but UK officials are yet to comment on that.