Theresa May has said the Russian spy poisoned in Salisbury along with his daughter “may never recover fully” as she revealed that 130 people in the UK city could have been exposed to the deadly nerve agent.
Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition after they were found slumped on a bench in Wiltshire, the Prime Minister revealed.
The condition update comes after the police officer exposed to Novichok, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, said “normal life for me will probably never be the same” after he was discharged from hospital last week.
Speaking at the start of a debate on national security and Russia, the Prime Minister said: “Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain critically ill in hospital. Sadly, late last week, doctors indicated that their condition is unlikely to change in the near future, and they may never recover fully.
“This shows the utterly barbaric nature of this act, and the dangers that hundreds of innocent citizens in Salisbury could have faced.”
She added: “We assess that more than 130 people in Salisbury could have been potentially exposed to this nerve agent.
“More than 50 people were assessed in hospital, with Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey taken seriously ill.”
May added that the Government had evidence that Russia had explored ways of exporting nerve agents over the past decade, probably for the purposes of assassinations.
She also said that Russia has since advanced 21 different arguments to try and distance itself from the attacks.
Earlier, 18 nations announced they were expelling a total of more than 100 Russian intelligence officers following the nerve agent attack.
As he was discharged from hospital on Thursday after his condition improved, DS Bailey said “normal life for me will probably never be the same”.
He insisted “I am just a normal person with a normal life”, but added: “I recognise that ‘normal’ life for me will probably never be the same.”
At the weekend, the Russian Ambassador in London sent his well wishes to those directly affected by the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Alexander Yakovenko welcomed the news that DS Bailey has been discharged from hospital following his exposure to Novichok on March 4.
Yakovenko said in a tweet: “Glad to know that detective sergeant Nick Bailey has been discharged from hospital. Hoping for recovery of Sergei and Yulia Skirpal, too.”