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You’re like Comical Ali! MP mocks Russian ambassador’s spy claim

Quizzed: Alexander Yakovenko PIC: PA

RUSSIA’S ambassador to the UK was mocked by MPs as he claimed British agents could have been behind the Salisbury poisoning.

Alexander Yakovenko suggested the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia might have been a conspiracy aimed at justifying British hostility to Russia. But MPs accused Mr Yakovenko of ‘doublespeak’ and compared him with ‘Comical Ali’, the former Iraqi propaganda chief.

Mr Yakovenko, being questioned by MPs and peers on the Russia all-party parliamentary group, said the UK had violated international law by not granting access to Ms Skripal and repeated his demand for Moscow to be given samples taken from Salisbury.

Suggesting that ‘UK security services’ were behind the incident in March, he said Russia had been blamed but British authorities admitted they had no suspects. The UK saw Russia as ‘enemy number one’ he claimed, adding: ‘The people don’t buy this kind of policy.’

But Tory MP Bob Seely told him: ‘People treat you like they treated Comical Ali — someone who is great entertainment value who relies on conspiracy theories.’ Mr Skripal is still in hospital, while Yulia was last month released to a secure address.