'Russia will lie and lie and lie' MP claims after Alexei Navalny poisoning

2 September 2020, 18:55

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"Russia will lie and lie and lie because that's part of the game," an MP has told LBC in the wake of the Novichok poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

"It's no surprise really," said Chris Bryant a friend of Alexei Navalny and Labour MP who sits on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia.

He said, "it seems pretty clear that once demonstrations were getting going in Belarus, the Russian government under Putin was getting nervous."

He told LBC's Eddie Mair it seemed likely Russia would "take action" against one of their most prominent critics.

"God knows they've tried many times before," the Labour MP said, adding "the reason the Russian doctors did not want to let him go" nor allow other doctors to see him was "he'd been poisoned."

Mr Bryant said he believes the positioning of Mr Navalny has "all the hallmarks of a classic Putin, KGB style attempted murder."

Eddie Mair said he could understand why people may come to that conclusion, but that there needed to be evidence in order to bring the guilty party to account.

Mr Bryant was speaking to LBC after the German government said tests showed the nerve agent Novichok in samples from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia.

"Russia will lie and lie and lie, because that's part of the game," Mr Bryant told LBC.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson branded the use of the nerve agent "outrageous".

The PM said: "It's outrageous that a chemical weapon was used against Alexei Navalny.

"We have seen first-hand the deadly consequences of Novichok in the UK.

"The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny - we will work with international partners to ensure justice is done."

Mr Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight on August 20 and was taken to hospital in the Siberian city Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

He was transferred two days later to Berlin's Charite hospital, where doctors last week said initial tests indicated Mr Navalny had been poisoned.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that testing by a special German military laboratory had now shown "proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group".

"It is a dismaying event that Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia," Mr Seibert said.