MP 'reassured' after warning over Salisbury attack

An MP has said he is "completely reassured" as diners and pub-goers were told to wash clothes a week after the nerve agent attack.

Public Health England issued the warning seven days after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury.

John Glen, MP for the area, said he was "initially somewhat taken aback" by the advice from Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies.

"Almost a week after the incident, I was surprised that visitors to Zizzi and The Mill were now being advised to wash their clothes and possessions to avoid contamination," he said in a statement.

"But after speaking with Dame Sally yesterday evening, I was completely reassured that this second statement, following the advice of low public risk last Wednesday, was issued as a precaution and the risk remains low."

Investigators in protective clothing remove a van from an address in Winterslow near Salisbury in Wiltshire, as police and members of the armed forces continue to investigate the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripa (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Investigators in protective clothing remove a van from an address in Winterslow near Salisbury in Wiltshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He said the guidance was "not to cause alarm" and added: "I know that it is disconcerting to see people dressed in hazmat suits and respirators at a number of locations across the city.

"But I would encourage everyone in Salisbury and those thinking of visiting our beautiful city that there is a low risk."

The advice to wash clothing and personal items was issued after traces of the nerve agent were found in The Mill pub and the nearby Zizzi restaurant.

The health risk to residents in Salisbury remains low. We have issued a statement on the precautionary advice for those who were in The Mill pub or Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday 4 or Monday 5 March 2018 https://t.co/Tr6KOXMnjV

-- PublicHealthEngland (@PHE_uk) March 11, 2018

Dame Sally said fewer than 500 people would have been at the venues last Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found on a bench in the Wiltshire city.

They remain in Salisbury District Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

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