Burnham: Litvinenko death was “an unparalleled act of state-sponsored terrorism”

21st January, 2016 2:57 pm

Andy Burnham

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham has come out with a strong line against Russia following today’s publication of the report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which implicates the Russian state in his murder.

Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210 in London in 2006, and today’s report says that President Putin “probably” signed off on the killing, which was carried out by Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun.

Speaking in Parliament earlier today, Burnham said that the report is “one of the most shocking and disturbing reports ever presented to this Parliament”.

And he warned that the UK must respond with a “commensurate response”.

“It [the report] confirms that the Russian state at its highest level sanctioned the killing of a British citizen on the streets of our Capital city,” he said. “An unparalleled act of state-sponsored terrorism that must meet with a commensurate response.”

He also pushed Home Secretary Theresa May to pile on more diplomatic pressure on Russia. “The Home Secretary has indicated today that there will be new diplomatic pressure, and I welcome it, but I am not sure it goes far enough,” he said.

He added that the UK had a responsibility to find justice for Litvinenko and his son:

“Litvinenko believed in Britain, in its tradition of justice, fairness, standing up to the mighty and for what is right. Shouldn’t we now find the courage to show his son and the world that his father’s faith in us was not misplaced?”

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