'A Brazen and Reckless Act': U.K. Says It Will Respond Robustly to Nerve Agent Attack on Former Russian Spy

Speculation on who was behind the attack must be avoided until the investigation concludes, says Home Secretary Amber Rudd

A video grab from footage shows Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd making a statement on the nerve agent incident in the House of Commons in London on March 8, 2018.
PRU/AFP

The use of a nerve agent on British soil to attack Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is a brazen and reckless act, but Britons must avoid speculating on who was behind it, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Thursday. 

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter were found unconscious on Sunday on a bench in the southern English cathedral city of Salisbury. They remain in hospital in a critical condition. A police officer who was among the first on the scene was also harmed. 

"The use of a nerve agent on U.K. soil is a brazen and reckless act. This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way," Rudd told parliament. 
"But if we are to be rigorous in this investigation, we must avoid speculation, and allow the police to carry on their investigation. 

"We will respond in a robust and appropriate manner once we ascertain who was responsible. 

"We are committed to do all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, whoever they are and wherever they may be."