Defence in the media: Friday 9 March 2018

Today’s defence-related news leads with military involvement in the ongoing investigation into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

Ex-Russian Spy

Leading broadcast news today is the story that the military are being deployed to Salisbury to assist in the investigation and removal of contaminated objects. It is reported there will be around 180 troops in total, across all three services, assisting the police, however the number of military personnel at the sites will be considerably fewer.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Our armed forces have stepped up to support the police in their investigation in Salisbury, building on the vital expertise and information already provided by our world-renowned scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.

We have the right people with the right skills to assist with this crucial inquiry. This is a dreadful incident and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families.

This follows print coverage this morning in The Sun, Daily Mail, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, The Guardian,Independent all reporting more widely on the investigation into the poisoning of the ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. The articles carry comments from the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in which he said that the Kremlin posed an ‘ever greater threat’ and said that Britain must not be pushed around by another nation. The Times also suggests that the rare poison may be traced to a single lab and that Porton Down is one of the only places in the world that would be able to identify the agent and the possible location of its manufacture.

Image of the day

Image of the Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, meeting with women on the front line of the RAF’s transport operations, including a Voyager air to air refuelling and troop transport pilot, logisticians and engineers.