Britain may have been slow to react to the chemical attack on a former spy for Britain in Salisbury (it took three days to bring in specialists from the armed services) but it has been quick to blame Russia. Perhaps too quick. I do not doubt for a minute that Russia is to blame, but perhaps the government should wait until the police investigation is completed before launching into a diplomatic spat with Moscow. If Britain wants to get world opinion onside it must ensure that the police carry out a full and thorough investigation which could then be shared with allies so that they can take the necessary and appropriate action. By jumping the gun the British government risks being isolated and gives Russia the necessary excuses to muddy the waters.

The Russians were quick to point out yesterday that they had been shown no evidence to support the claim that they were behind the attack and experts consulted by the media said that the chemicals used were developed by the former Soviet Union. If the British government is not careful it could find itself involved in a major spat with Russia without any international support. Even Donald Trump is sitting on the fence and the government´s approach to the incident has not met with all-party support. Labour is talking dialogue and leader Jeremy Corbyn appears to favour a more softly, softly approach. What happened in Salisbury was an outrage but a full investigation is needed before sentence is passed.