Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

It’s your move, Prime Minister: Kremlin expels 23 diplomats in wake of nerve agent attack

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images)

THE Prime Minister was considering her next move last night as Russia expelled 23 British diplomats after being blamed for a nerve agent attack on a former spy.

Theresa May warned Britain would respond as tensions between the countries escalated after the Kremlin ordered the expulsions, along with the closure of the British Council in Russia and the British consulate in St Petersburg.

The move comes days after Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats – suspected of espionage – after the attempted assassination of a former double agent in Salisbury.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain critically ill after being found unconscious on a bench two weeks ago. Ministers believe they were poisoned with a lethal Russian-made nerve agent called Novichok.

Mrs May said yesterday that retaliation was to be expected, and that Britain would now “consider our next steps”.

She said Russia, which denied involvement in the attack, was in “flagrant breach of international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention”.

Police contact Russian exiles in Britain to discuss their safety as 14 deaths are reviewed

Russia’s Foreign Ministry claimed that its actions came “in response to the provocative actions of the British side and groundless accusations” over the Salisbury attack.

It added: “Twenty-three diplomatic staff of the UK Embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and are to be expelled from Russia within a week.”

The British Council, which acts as the UK’s main cultural body overseas, said it was “profoundly disappointed” with the move to close their Russian operations, while Russian politician Vladimir Dzhabarov yesterday warned Britain against escalating the crisis.

The deputy chairman of the Russian foreign affairs committee said: “London must understand it is useless to talk with Russia with such methods.”

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police announced it was launching a murder probe into the death of prominent Kremlin critic Nikolai Glushkov.

A pathologist concluded the 68-year-old Russian businessman died from neck compression, with investigators now reportedly believing he was strangled with a dog lead.

Yesterday, detectives were seen scouring his home in the London suburb of New Malden.