On Monday, the Prime Minister set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury by a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia.

She rightly offered Russia the opportunity to provide an explanation. Unfortunately they failed to explain how this agent was used or why they have an undeclared chemical weapons programme. There is therefore no alternative conclusion other than that Russia was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter – and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

It is essential that we now work with our allies to defend our security, to stand up for our values and to send a clear message to those who would seek to cause harm. Theresa May has announced immediate actions to dismantle the Russian espionage network in the UK by expelling 23 Russian diplomats, and we are urgently developing proposals for new powers to harden our defences against all forms of hostile state activity, including investing £48m into a new chemical weapon defence centre.

The Government has the full support of the international community, including the United Nations and NATO, as well as Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, President Trump and other partners across the European Union, and beyond. I am also grateful that the Government has received support from Labour backbench MPs who have unequivocally accepted Russia’s culpability for this poisoning and thrown their full support behind the Governments actions. Yvette Cooper in particular gave a strong and calm speech in which she highlighted the need for everybody in this country and indeed across the world, to unite behind the Government in its urgent priority to ensure our national security. As I write this, Jeremy Corbyn has still failed to condemn the culpability of the Russian state for this unlawful use of force and has so far failed to support the action that has been taken. Utterly disgraceful.

We have made it clear that we will not tolerate any threat to anybody on British soil. This attack is an affront to the rules-based system on which we and our international partners depend. We will continue to work with our allies to confront such actions wherever they threaten our security, at home and abroad, and to keep the British people safe. On that note, I want to thank the emergency services who responded to the incident in Salisbury. As always, they wake up each day and go to work prepared and willing to put their lives on the line in order to ensure the safety of others. Our thoughts are with Sergeant Bailey, as well as the Skirpals, as we pray that they make a full recovery back to health.

Finally, I wanted to clarify the situation over free school meals. Earlier this week the Labour Party claimed that children in Swindon would have their free school meals taken away from them. To be clear: no child who receives a free school meal will have this taken away from them. Furthermore, under this Governments plans, there will be 50,000 more children who will be eligible for a free school meal. Since 2010, this government introduced universal infant free school meals and has extended their availability to disadvantaged students in further education. I am sorry that Labour’s wrong and misleading claims caused necessary concern amongst local parents, and I am glad that they were quickly discredited by Channel 4’s fact check investigation.