Theresa May Praises Salisbury's 'Remarkable Strength' On Anniversary Of Novichok Attack

The prime minister also thanked the city's emergency services and council staff for their "unprecedented clean-up operation".

Theresa May has hailed Salisbury’s “remarkable strength, resilience and fortitude” as she visits the city on the first anniversary of the Novichok attack.

The prime minister walked through Salisbury with local MP John Glen a year after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in the city centre after being poisoned.

The city was rocked again months later when Dawn Sturgess died in July after her partner, Charlie Rowley, found a discarded fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle containing the toxic substance and unknowingly gave it to her.

May said on Monday her thoughts were with the victims, their friends and families, both in Salisbury and Amesbury, the village nearby were Stugess and Rowley fell ill.

 Theresa May waves at two-year-old Scarlett Ward as she walks through Salisbury
Theresa May waves at two-year-old Scarlett Ward as she walks through Salisbury
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She visited two shops close to Salisbury Cathedral, made famous worldwide after the suspects of the assassination attempt Russian GRU officers, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, claimed visiting it was the reason they had travelled to Salisbury on 4 March last year.

As the prime minister strolled around with Glen, she stopped to say hello to members of the public on the High Street and went into Smith England hairdressers before visiting home and gift shop Casa Fina.

After leaving Casa Fina, she greeted more local residents and visitors on the street outside.

Susi Mason, the owner of Casa Fina, said after meeting the prime minister that she was pleased she had come to support the city.

Mason said: “We have had a really tough year and it’s really nice to have a visit that isn’t all about the police cordons – it is to celebrate those of us who are continuing business as usual.”

The shop owner said she thanked May for her support the city has had but she made the point that they need continued support.

She said: “We are not back on our feet yet.”

She continued: “As a very small business, it has been a very stressful year. Reaching this anniversary means a lot because we feel we can now move forward.”

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In a statement, May said today was ″an important milestone for Salisbury as it emerges from the shadow cast by the use of chemical weapons on the streets of our country”.

She said that the historic city was now welcoming thousands of visitors and tourists.

She said: “The fact Salisbury and the wider region has fought back so well from such a devastating and reckless incident is testament to the resolve, forbearance and positivity of the community.

“My thoughts today are very much with the victims, their friends and families, both in Salisbury, Amesbury and further afield. They have shown remarkable strength, resilience and fortitude in the last year and I have no doubt will continue to do so.”

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The prime minister also said it was important to reflect on the work of those who have played a part in the recovery effort “from all of the dedicated emergency service workers, council staff and public servants, to the skilful and brave men and women of our armed forces who have led the unprecedented clean-up operation”.

She also thanked the people of Salisbury and acknowledged the “spirit of the people of this city”.

“I hope they can be encouraged by the announcement on Friday that the clean-up operation in South Wiltshire is now complete, and that moving forward Salisbury will once again be known for being a beautiful, welcoming English city and not for the events of 4 March 2018,” she said.


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