Now Foreign Office deletes tweet that #PortonDown confirmed Russian origin

As the SKWAWKBOX highlighted yesterday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told a complete untruth to UK citizens – and was captured in a filmed interview – that he knew Russia was the source of the poison that affected the Skripals and a police officer in Salisbury because the scientists at Porton Down’s chemical weapons facility told him ‘categorically‘ that ‘there is no doubt‘ about its Russian origin.

A bombshell interview yesterday on Sky News exposed that claim to be a complete falsehood, as the head of Porton Down admitted his facility had not been able to identify a source for the toxin.

Video of both Johnson’s claim and the Porton Down admission can be seen here.

Mainstream journalists and commentators have spent most of the time since then attempting to rubbish and dismiss Johnson’s lie, mostly by claiming it’s not that important because other sources must exist that point to Russia or just because ‘who else could it be?’

Those claims miss the point to an extent that can legitimately be called disingenuous.

Johnson did not claim that he was sure because Porton Down’s analysis of the substance was part of a jigsaw of intelligence that pointed to Russia.

He didn’t claim that the Porton Down ‘guys’ couldn’t be sure, but on the balance of probabilities it still looked like Russia.

He said he knew because Porton Down said ‘categorically’ that there is no doubt‘.

It seems the Foreign Office is now trying to pretend the claim wasn’t made, because it has deleted a tweet it put out a couple of weeks ago making a similarly emphatic – and completely untrue – claim:

fco novichok deleted.png

Not just that the chemical signature of the compound indicates it was a Novichok – or ‘related agent’, as everyone seems to add in small print or a small voice. But ‘produced in Russia‘.

More than twenty countries have expelled Russian diplomats because of its alleged involvement in the Salisbury attack. According to a commentator on Sky News this morning, of those twenty at least Germany and France – two major NATO nations – did so specifically because the UK government’s claimed certainty about the origin of the poison based on Porton Down’s analysis overcame their initial reluctance to take that step.

Now it emerges that there was no such certainty – and those two nations are now ‘asking serious questions’ of Johnson and May behind the scenes, while the Foreign Office tries, unsuccessfully, to hide the public evidence.

The UK’s foreign policy and its actions on the world stage have been driven by a piece of government-manufactured fake newsBoris Johnson – and his boss, Theresa May – must resign for their reckless disregard for the truth.

The UK deserves that gesture as a minimum consequence for their dangerous dishonesty.

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  1. Theresa May and Boris Johnson have used our national security to play party politics.

    They must both resign.

  2. Boris is a serial liar so should resign. May is afraid of him so she won’t push him. She won’t resign because she is afraid of her Right wingers and the electorate.
    That it should come to this!

  3. Muttonhead Boris Johnson admits he’s made a mistake. He’s been talking to experts from Watership Down. Oooops. #PortonDown

  4. Amazingly BBC News actually reported some of the story around lunchtime.
    Only once that I saw and they didn’t press the logic as far as accusing Boris of being ‘economic with the truth’ while I was watching – but they did at least show JC speaking with wisdom and his customary statesmanship.

    Doesn’t seem to be on the loop – now it’s just ‘Britain has reiterated’ etc. so one short broadcast to balance the hours on antisemitism might not be enough to justify claims of “no bias” at their trials 🙂

  5. “The, RIGHT”, have done themselves a huge disfavour, by lying through their back teeth “AGAIN”!
    Let me bang the drum for the “LEFT”, Don’t we just love it when a job needs doing, we can, without fear or favour, make the “RIGHT” look like “CRETINS”!

  6. @David McNiven: Channel 4 News gave a far more in depth account. If you didn’t watch it, you can see it on catch-up, or possibly on its Facebook page.

  7. How many know that France and Germany are asking serious questions regarding the honesty of May and Johnson?
    Richard Dennis

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