The shadow home secretary said Labour’s ‘thoughtful’ approach to the crisis had been borne out after Porton Down said it could not prove where the Novichok used to poison Sergei Skripal has been made.
Ms Abbott said the security services and the Prime Minister had been careful to caveat their language but condemned Boris Johnson for making ‘categorical’ claims scientists had already proved where the substance was from.
The Foreign Office deleted a Tweet making a similar claim this afternoon as a row over the details of the investigation threatened to hand a propaganda coup to the Kremlin.
Putin has already seized on Porton Down’s announcement it knew what was used to attack Mr Skripal but not its origins to demand an apology from Britain.
Diane Abbott (file image) today claimed Jeremy Corbyn has been proved right in questioning Vladimir Putin’s responsibility for the Salisbury attack
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today in Watford) has been widely criticised for appearing cautious to blame the Kremlin for the attack on Sergei Skripal
Boris Johnson made the claim Porton Down Scientists had told him Russia was to blame in an interview on German TV on March 20 (pictured)
Sergei Skripal with his daughter Yulia before they were poisoned in Salisbury
Any suggestion Britain has overclaimed on its investigation will fuel Russian propaganda.
International allies including the EU rallied round Britain today, insisting there was other intelligence which left them convinced Russia was to blame.
Ms Abbott told the Today programme she hoped Labour will ‘get some credit for taking a more thoughtful approach and asking the right questions’.
She said: ‘It doesn’t surprise me Porton Down is saying this because the security services were always very cautious in what they said.
‘What surprised me was that so many were willing to rush into the media and say it was unequivocally Putin. That’s not necessarily what we were told.’
Told Prime Minister Theresa May did not say this, Ms Abbott replied: ‘She didn’t say that, she was quite careful in her initial statement.
‘But Boris Johnson a