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The Foreign Secretary,
Boris Johnson, says the Government
has evidence Russia has been making
and stockpiling Novichok,
the nerve agent Britain says
was used to try and kill the Russian
spy Sergei Skripal and his
daughter in Salisbury.
Mr Johnson accused the Russians of
"smug sarcasm" after the country's
ambassador to the EU suggested
the nerve agent could have come
from Britain's own Porton Down
research centre near Salisbury.
Here's our Home Affairs
Correspondent, Daniel Sandford.
After two weeks of delicate
investigation and decontamination
work in Salisbury, in which police
officers and troops have had to take
extraordinary precautions to protect
themselves, the Russian ambassador
to the EU chose to hint that Britain
might have been responsible for the
nerve agent attack.
Porton Down, as
we all know, is the largest military
facility in the United Kingdom,
which has been dealing with chemical
weapons research. And it's actually
only eight miles from Salisbury.
You're not suggesting Porton Down is
I don't know.
Immediately afterwards on the same
programme, this was the Foreign
This isn't the
response of a country that really
believes itself to be innocent.
Their response has been a mixture of
smug sarcasm and denial and
obfuscation and delay.
insisted the Russians have been
doing recent nerve agent research.
We actually have evidence within the
last ten years but Russia has not
only been investigating the delivery
of nerve agents for the purposes of
assassination, but has also been
creating and stockpiling Novichok.
That what a direct lie?
you will get that.
Then the Foreign
Secretary had to concede that the
wife of a former finance minister
under Putin had paid £150,000 in a
Conservative Party option to play
tennis with him.
Did the tennis game
After signs of a gap
opening last week between Labour and
Downing Street over the attack, this
morning the Labour position was much
closer to the government.
questions to answer because this
could be a state execution, but what
we don't do in this country is we
don't leap to conclusions without
the evidence, but we are saying to
our international partners, working
with the chemical inspectors,
working with Porton Down, we will
now produce the evidence that leads
us to a judgment that they can rely
The Porton Down military
laboratory is where experts have
spent two weeks analysing the rare
neighbourhood confused. Tomorrow,
international specialists from the
Organisation for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons will arrive to
start their own analysis of what
left Yulia and Sergei Skripal
fighting for their lives.
Meanwhile, voting is under way
across Russia in the country's
election, in which President Putin
is expected to win
a fourth term in office.
There are several other candidates
but his main rival, Alexei Navalny,
has been barred from taking part
after being convicted of fraud -
a charge he says was
From Moscow, Richard Galpin reports.
At a polling station here in Moscow,
a deliberately festive atmosphere.
Encouraging people to vote.
Russians have only known one leader,
Vladimir Putin, since 1999, and now
they are casting their ballots once
again with the odds stacked
heavily in his favour.
With the only serious opposition
leader banned from taking
part in this election,
there's virtually no doubt that
Vladimir Putin will win.
The issue is going to be the turnout
and whether it is sufficient
to legitimise another six years
in power for Mr Putin.
And although people have been voting
here, we soon found scepticism
about how genuine this election is.
there is a real choice
but in reality I cannot say
it is fair because I know people
are being forced to vote,
especially those working
in government institutions.
The President himself voted
here in Moscow earlier today.
The Kremlin apparently
aiming for him to get 70%
of the vote and of the turnout.
But when asked by journalists how
many votes would be seen as a
success, he said any amount
allowing him to be president.
Voters in Crimea are also taking
part in this presidential election
for the first time since the area
was annexed from Ukraine,
the election date moved
to today to coincide
with the fourth anniversary.
Another boost for Mr Putin.
We must emphasise that Mr Putin
retains high popularity ratings
amongst voters here, but I think
there is a question about reaching
that 70% turnout figure, which
apparently the Kremlin wants.
Meanwhile, there have been some
reports of electoral violations,
with reports coming in of ballot
boxes being stuffed in one area, but
I must stress that that is only a
small number of reports in just one
Much of the UK has experienced
its second significant
snowfall of the winter.
Worst affected have been the north
and east of the country,
and the snow is now falling in south
Wales and the south-west of England.
Combined with sub-zero temperature
winds, it's bought delays
and cancellations to public
transport and made for difficult
driving conditions for many,
as Frankie McCamley reports.
Late last night in Barnsley,
not a sight you would usually see
in March, a truck being pulled
to safety by a car in
And in Halifax, police rescued
the driver of this car,
who escaped with minor injuries.
On the Trans-Pennine Express,
an officer's dash cam,
the road almost at a standstill.
This morning as people
try to leave their homes,
it proves to be a difficult task.
And gritters out on the A68
in Northumberland try
to keep things moving.
In places on higher ground
like here in West Yorkshire,
up to 11 centimetres of snow fell,
but the places that saw the most
were Hereford and Wattisham
with 13 centimetres.
Today though the south-west
of England and South Wales will be
hardest hit, with amber weather
warnings in place until nine
o'clock this evening.
Elsewhere, there's been more
disruption at the airports today
with Bristol, Bournemouth
and the East Midlands
Heathrow and Gatwick have also told
passengers to expect delays.
Some rugby and football matches have
also had to be cancelled too.
But for some there has been fun
to be had in what's been dubbed
the mini beast from the east
with temperatures expected to return
to normal by Tuesday.
Frankie McCamley, BBC
News, in West Yorkshire.
Britain have won their first
gold medal at the Winter
Paralympics in South Korea.
Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide,
Jen Kehoe, took the women's
visually-impaired slalom crown
on the final day of the Games,
as Kate Grey reports.
It was the golden moment they'd been
waiting for. Menna Fitzpatrick and
her guide, Jen Kehoe, saved their
best till last to win gold on the
last day. They were in silver
position going into their second run
and displayed a perfect performance.
The time was unbeatable. Their first
medal here in Pyeongchang, to become
Britain's most successful winter
We are running on
adrenaline at the moment, because
this first bronze was an incredible
achievement to finish that race and
to win a medal, and to finish on a
gold medal and put in one of our
strongest performances this week is
beyond words. It hasn't sunk in and
I think it probably won't until we
get back to the UK and we are back
in our own beds for a lie in.
Further successful Millie Knight and
her guide, making the bronze in the
same race, meaning that Paralympics
GB have reached their target of
seven medals, but all dependent on
one spot, one classification and a
small number of athletes.
into these games with clear
potential on snow and ice. The
wheelchair curlers a tough week, but
from my perspective I am proud of
every single one of the 17 athletes
who came to Pyeongchang to represent
Paralympics GB. Yes, the medals came
from snow, but every athlete gave it
So the Brits have had
plenty to cheer about and, with more
nations taking part than ever before
and a record number of tickets sold,
the international Paralympic
committee can also celebrate,
claiming these games to be the
greatest winter Paralympics to date.
That's it from me.
The next news on BBC
One is at 6:35pm.
Until then, have a good afternoon.