Labour's Shadow Cabinet publicly split over Jeremy Corbyn's Russian Federation stance

Guy Stephens of Rowan Dartington

Guy Stephens of Rowan Dartington

Judging from the remarks that were made by backbenchers "across the whole of the house" last Monday, she proclaimed, there is clearly a consensus "across the backbenches of this house".

Thornberry, whose constituency borders Corbyn's, said Russian Federation was "defying Britain and the rest of the world to try and stop them".

Labour legislator Chris Williamson, a Corbyn ally, called the critics "irrelevant malcontents" who were trying to undermine the party leader.

"It was absolutely freaky that at a time when you had a blatant use of a Russian nerve agent by the Russians on the streets of Salisbury, he didn't find it in his heart to condemn them".

Boris Johnson insists all he did to make Jeremy Corbyn angry in parliament yesterday was to ask when he was going to condemn Russian Federation.

Mr Starmer, who as a lawyer represented Mrs Marina Litvinenko in a case against Russian Federation after her husband, Mr Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned with Polonium on British soil more than a decade ago, called the poisoning of the Skripals "an attack on our sovereignty, on our rule of law, and not for the first time".

Milne's appointment in 2015 raised eyebrows given previous opinion articles he had written in the Guardian, in which he said "Putin has now become a cartoon villain and Russian Federation the target of nearly uniformly belligerent propaganda across the western media".

"I think the situation is very different".

'This has to be a time where we stand together with the Government, shoulder to shoulder, and with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, sending a very clear message to Russia, ' Mr Kinnock told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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Speaking to journalists after PMQs, Milne said: "The prime minister said that there were two possibilities - either the Russian state was directly responsible for the attack or it had negligently allowed weapons-grade nerve agent to fall into the hands of others". "There can and should be the basis for a common political response to this crime".

The Labour leader earlier questioned why a man who has lived in the United Kingdom for 44 years is "being denied cancer treatment", with Mrs May saying she looks forward to receiving the details of the case.

"That means when chemical weapons are used, we need more than words, but deeds".

Labour MPs were so outraged at the position a group, led by John Woodcock, put their names to an early day motion stating they "unequivocally accept the Russian state's culpability for the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal".

After meeting several council members - as well as posing for a few selfies with loyal Labour supporters - Mr Corbyn then moved on to the Durranhill Industrial estate.

He told reporters: "I was extremely definite yesterday that I totally condemn this attack".

The PM criticised the Opposition leader's spokesman from the despatch box.

Asked whether Corbyn was concerned that his backbenchers felt differently about Russia's culpability, he replied: "In these kinds of cases, there are often initial reactions which aren't later backed up by reality or facts".

'The prime minister asked serious questions of Russian Federation earlier this week ... and no answers have been given, ' Sir Keir said on BBC Question Time.

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