Jeremy Corbyn would do business with Vladimir Putin, even though 'all fingers' point towards Russia

Sergei Skripal: Jeremy Corbyn would do business with Vladimir Putin, even though 'all fingers' point towards Russia

The Labour leader previously had to defend his views on the poisoning

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn has said even though "all fingers" are pointing towards Russia as being responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, he'd still do business with Vladimir Putin. 

The Labour leader made the comment whilst the National Security Council met today (March 20) to discuss the fallout from the poisoning of the former Russian spy and his daughter Yulia.

Russian diplomats expelled from the UK due to the incident have left the country's London embassy today (March 20).

Corbyn has already had to defend his stance on the poisoning after not categorically blaming the Kremlin for the nerve agent attack earlier this month. 

His earlier warning not to "rush ahead of the evidence" led to criticism from Conservatives and some Labour backbenchers. However, he reiterated his call for Russia to be sent samples of the substance to discover its source.

He told the BBC: "All fingers point towards Russia's involvement in this, and obviously the manufacture of the material was undertaken by the Russian state originally.

"What I'm saying is the weapons were made from Russia, clearly.

"I think Russia has to be held responsible for it but there has to be an absolutely definitive answer to the question where did the nerve agent come from?

"I asked the Russians be given a sample so that they can say categorically one way or the other."

Corbyn insisted that there should still be a relationship with Russia and said he would "do business" with President Putin if Labour came into power.

He added: "I'd challenge him on human rights in Russia, challenge him on these issues and challenge him on that whole basis of that relationship."

Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter are still fighting for their lives after being exposed to Novichok in Salisbury.