POLITICS
15/03/2018 11:53 GMT | Updated 15/03/2018 13:49 GMT

Gavin Williamson Says 'Frankly, Russia Should Go Away And Shut Up'

'Let’s face it, relations ain’t good are they.'

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said “frankly, Russia should go away and shut up”.

Speaking in Bristol on Thursday morning, Williamson gave his assessment of UK-Russian relations in the wake of the Sailsbury nerve agent attack. 

“Let’s face it, relations ain’t good are they,” he concluded.

Russia is expected to expel British diplomats in retaliation to the UK’s decision to kick out 23 Russian officials.

“What we will do is we will look at how Russia responds to what we have done,” Williamson said.

“It is absolutely atrocious and outrageous what Russia did in Salisbury. We have responded to that.”

He added: “Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.”

The is UK also suspending high-level contacts with Russia and may impose new economic sanctions on Moscow.

British dignitaries, including members of the royal family, will not attend this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Boris Johnson said this morning was “overwhelmingly obvious” that Russia was culpable for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Williamson also today made no secret of his desire to be given the Department for International Development’s (DfID) budget.

“I have to admit I do have great ideas of how I could spend an extra £13bn or £14bn pounds,” he said.

He added: “All secretaries of state for defence have amazing imaginations when ti comes to spending money. That is why we always have chancellors in order to constrain them.”

Full UK response to Salisbury attack:

  • 23 Russian diplomats expelled.

  • Creating new power to detain those suspected of Hostile State Activity at the UK border. 

  • Increase checks on private flights, customs and freight.

  • Freeze Russian State assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents.

  • Suspend all planned high level bi-lateral contacts between the UK and Russia, including revoking the invitation to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit to the UK.

  • No attendance by Ministers - or indeed Members of the Royal Family - at this Summer’s World Cup in Russia. 

  • A new £48m chemical defence centre based at Porton Down to face the “increasing” threat from Russia and North Korea. 

  • Special UK troops to receive anthrax vaccine.