Leader of the UK’s Labour party Jeremy Corbyn has called on the British government to not act hastily in its investigation into the attempted murder of former Russian spy, Sergei Skirpal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury earlier this month.
He made the comments in an opinion piece published in the Guardian newspaper on Thursday evening.
“This horrific event demands first of all the most thorough and painstaking criminal investigation, conducted by our police and security services. They have a right to expect full support in their work, just as the public should also be able to expect calm heads and a measured response from their political leaders,” Mr. Corbyn’s article reads.
Corbyn went on to warn that a hasty response, without conclusive evidence, was not in the interests of the UK’s national security.
“To rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere, serves neither justice nor our national security,” Corbyn added.
He expressed discontent with some of the Russian government’s policies, but said the UK should avoid entering a new cold war.
“However, this does not mean we should resign ourselves to a ‘new cold war’ of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent,” Corbyn warned.
In addition to serving as the leader of the UK’s second largest political party, Corbyn represents the Islington North constituency in the House of Commons and formerly served as the chairman of the Stop the War Coalition.
Others have called for restraint, and voiced doubts over Russia’s culpability in the attack, arguing that it would be senseless for Russia to use the novichok nerve agent in such an attack, as it seemingly traces back to them.
The UK’s refusal to provide Russian authorities and investigators with a sample of the agent and other pieces of evidence has also drawn criticism.