By Eric King
Police admit that the couple poisoned by Novichok were exposed to the substance after handling a contaminated item.
45 year old Charlie Rowley, and 44 year old Dawn Sturgess, 44, collapsed at a house in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday and remain critically ill. Home secretary Sajid Javid said the nerve agent was the same as that used on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.
Mr Javid accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison” after the second incident involving the nerve agent. However, this accusation is connected to the original poisoning of Sergei and Yuli Skripal. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged police not to be led by the “dirty political game” and said she was confident London would have to apologise to Russia.
Debbie Stark, South West deputy director from Public Health England said the risk to the public of further poisoning incidents “remains low”.In a statement to MPs, Mr Javid said: “It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.
He said the “strong working assumption” was that the couple came into contact with Novichok in a different location to the sites which had been part of the clean-up operation in near-by Salisbury after the Skripal poisoning.”It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns, to be dumping grounds for poison,” he added. Details about precisely how the new couple contaminated by the Novichok is yet to be known.