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Andrew Parker: You’d think the UK’s top spy chief could come up with better lies.

Isn’t it strange that the head of MI5 is wheeled out to reinforce the Tory government’s fairy tale about the Russians poisoning the Skripals, days after we were told something far more believable?

Here‘s what Andrew Parker had to say:

The Russian government is the “chief protagonist” in a campaign aimed at undermining western democracies, the head of the UK intelligence agency MI5, Andrew Parker, has said.

“The Russian state’s now well-practised doctrine of blending media manipulation, social media disinformation and distortion along with new and old forms of espionage, and high-levels of cyber-attacks, military force and criminal thuggery is what is meant these days by the term hybrid threats.”

He cited the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, describing it as reckless, putting not only the former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, at risk but numerous others in the community. The Skripals’ recovery was down to the “near miraculous” medical treatment they had received, Parker said.

Russia had offered 30 different alternative theories about the attack, which he described as criminal thuggery. “Whatever nonsense they conjure up, the case is clear,” he said.

Hang on – Russia offered 30 theories about the attack? It seemed to me that it was the British authorities who couldn’t make up their minds, and the Russian government was responding to the multitude of bizarre conspiracy theories that resulted.

And what about the story that (so far) seems to ring true – that Sergei Skripal had been involved in the creation of the dossier on Donald Trump’s links with Russia – a dossier that appears to have been faked?

What about the claim that the attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter was carried out to stop the culprits being caught?

What about the possibility that the UK government is hiding information?

Not a word.

That isn’t good enough.

We need a statement from the UK government on the information that has appeared over the last few days – not a flat denial, referring to “intelligence” that seems to be nonexistent; something supported by provable facts.

Something we can believe.

Until we get that, there’s nothing our Tory government can say about this that is worth our attention.

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