Boris Johnson Attempt to Refute My Sources on Porton Down the Most Hilarious Fail 266

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a statement to refute my report from well-placed FCO sources that the British government continually re-uses the phrase “of a type developed by Russia” because its own scientists refused government pressure to say the nerve agent was made by Russia, and as getting even agreement to “of a type developed by” was bloody, the government has to stick to precisely that rather odd choice of phrase.

This is the official British Government statement:

“We have no idea what Mr Murray is referring to. The Prime Minister told MP’s on Monday that world leading experts at Porton Down had positively identified this chemical agent. It is clear that it is a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. None of that is in any doubt”.

Which is perhaps the most hilarious fail in the history of refutation.

The BBC sprung that statement on me during a live interview on Radio 5 last night. They also sprung on me a statement by the Israeli Embassy and were attempting to lead me into accusing Israel of the attack. But even the BBC interviewer, Stephen Nolan, was flummoxed by the rubbish he had been given from the FCO. Here is an extract from that part of the interview:

Stephen Nolan: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have said to us tonight: “We have no idea what Mr Murray is referring to. The Prime Minister told MP’s on Monday that world leading experts at Porton Down had positively identified this chemical agent. It is clear that it is a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. None of that is in any doubt”. Well, you’ve already covered that Craig and you are zoning in on the fact that they are saying “developed by Russia”, they are unable to say whether it’s made – well they are not saying whether it was actually manufactured in Russia or the source of it or whether it was from Russia, right?”

Craig Murray Yes, exactly. No-one doubts that the Russians had the idea of making these things first, and worked on developing the idea. It has always been doubted up till now that they really succeeded. The Iranians succeeded under OPCW supervision some time ago and the chemical formulae were published to the whole world twenty years ago. So many states could have done it. The “of a type developed by Russia” thing means nothing, undoubtedly.

You can hear the whole interview here beginning about 5 minutes in.

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266 thoughts on “Boris Johnson Attempt to Refute My Sources on Porton Down the Most Hilarious Fail

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  • giyane

    March 18, 2018 at 12:33

    Johnson said this morning:

    ” “We actually have evidence within the last ten years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok.”

    He is the foreign secretary so i would expect this to be true. ”

    It might have taken me 63 years to trust my own judgement, and instead of getting angry when I’m lied to, clock the lie and clock the liar for future reference. Boris Johnson knows full well there are very few of us who are in a position to challenge his lies . It’s not very British to challenge a direct lie in public so a lot of us Brits settle for ‘well people lie all the time, especially politicians’, Sorry, but this not good enough for a senior politician who has the capability to take our country to nuclear war with Russia..

    Just as the Minister for Families who is a strong advocate for parental rights for fathers to take paternity leave cannot take paternity leave himself, and the erstwhile Defence Minister resigned because he had touched a researcher’s knees, so Boris Johnson should be held publicly accountable for brazenly lying to the UK public. If for any reason he cannot immediately prove he is not lying , he should be instantly dismissed. Furthermore, if it is proven that he has been peddling lies to Mrs May, thus influencing her stance in all of this, he should be disciplined for misuse of public office and barred from any branch of politics.

    • Sue Evans

      I totally agree. But why has not the squatter at No.10, not given him his P45 ? Like the rest of the motley crew, MT included !

  • Richard

    The first hint I’ve had that others support my idea that Putin hating the two million Russian Israelis are behind this nerve toxin attack. The hatred they show is stunning. Israel is hi tech and exempt from Chemical Warfare control Israel is the ideal country for the USA to finance development of these nerve toxins. More plausible than the “Puyinwotdunnit” hue and cry. Especially as Mossad has trained assassins in place all over the UK

    • Antonio

      Who told you that the ‘two million’ Russian Israelis hate Putin? Most of them went there in the early 1990s, long before Putin came to power. Putin has always had good relations with Netanyahu and has never been associated with anti-Jewish sentiments. Israel was one of very few countries that resisted FCO pressure to join the campaign Russia. As for Mossad having ‘trained assassins in place all over the UK’, one wonders how this would be justified to the Israeli taxpayer.

  • malcolm harrison

    I think people should stop referring to Novichok as though it exists as a separate identifiable substance. It seems that the word Novichok refers to a practice, an approach or a strategy – that of combining various commercially available substances in such a way as to produce a lethal chemical outcome. That means it could be made from just about anything, and by just about anybody. it is likely that only the Russians know whether they successfully made any, and from what substances they made it. Since the OPCW doesnt seem to have any to compare the British sample with, it is unlikely they will be much help in this matter. Which means their conclusions are likely to be inconclusive, which will suit Boris and Theresa. So, the myth, which by now must be strong in the public mind, that Novichok is a discreet something or other needs to be completely dispelled.

  • Barden Gridge

    I do like a nice ambiguous headline:

    “Wiltshire Council leader ‘too sick’ to visit Salisbury after nerve agent attack”

    This is the leader of Wiltshire Council:,_Baroness_Scott_of_Bybrook

    In the Salisbury Journal piece she says:

    “Counter-terrorism have been basically in charge and the overseer of that has been Cobra.
    “We have been in a supporting role. This hasn’t been our project.”


  • expat

    the government is a joke…a bad joke
    people should ask what’s the hidden agenda?
    today’s ‘the Russians going to cyber-attack us’ propaganda smells like people being set up for confrontation with Russia

  • Willie

    Didn’t bother listening in on the link to the BBC.

    Why do I need to sign in to the BBC. It’s certainly not because they say they want to make things more relevant to me

    Total surveillance push from a propgandist organ of the state.

  • Thomas Barbour

    The U.K. Government are known liars and are a really Evil look at the Deaths of people with medical problems being sanctioned

  • DDTea

    “The Iranians succeeded under OPCW supervision some time ago and the chemical formulae were published to the whole world twenty years ago. So many states could have done it. ”

    Formulae and synthesis is not enough. It was not known that these formulae were accurate. Synthetic procedures were not published, and would have to be developed de novo (this is not trivial). Their physical properties (melting points, vapor pressures) were unknown. Their spectral characteristics (electron impact mass spectrum, nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared–the usual methods of determining structure) were unreported. Their properties in the environment were unknown: how well do they withstand heat, moisture, or sunlight? These would have to be studied to understand their potential as weapons. Their toxicological properties were not reported. “5 to 8 times as potent as VX” is a rather meaningless statement: how well do they permeate skin or mucous membranes?

    If it’s a dusty agent, weaponization is more challenging. Generating the ideal 10 micron particle size that can be easily inhaled and dispersed, while avoiding static clumping, is a difficult feat.

    There are hundreds of these compounds. Testing them represents a major and sustained R&D effort, spanning decades.

    The only hilarity is on your part, Mr. Murray. You’re fooling nobody but the credulous, but principally yourself. We all know that Russia and Putin were behind this attack. You’re probably the sort to preach to Muslims and migrants about patriotism and assimilation, when you yourself should be taking lessons as you gaslight the British people in defense of their attackers.

  • dr david seddon

    please keep on at this, it is vital to have independent information on this serious accusation made by our government regarding the possible origin of the toxin used. It is also striking that we have heard little about the police investigation into precisely when and where and how the toxin was administered.

  • David Otness

    Such high dudgeon from Mr Nolan “defending the BBC’s honour and objectivity”…
    It’s good to have some humour injected into even a situation as serous as this one. Or more-so, it maintains the theme of absurdity colouring this entire affair/construct, whatever it actually is in its screeching hysteria of propaganda promulgating.
    Over here (Alaska), I listen to CBC, BBC, and formerly the U.S’s NPR, and they all have gotten ever more egregiously slanted to reflect their nexus of neoliberal/neoconnery, i.e. their imperialistic intent and purpose. I won’t even listen to NPR anymore, so infected with jingoism it has become. And the same infects the commercial TV networks and their audience/minions of narcotised nincompoops.

    The world is awash in Russia-bashing and demonising of Vlad the Imperturbable, especially after NATO forced his hand in Crimea with such adroit heavy-handedness. A true win-win for the war mongers and bloody hell as usual for the common man, be he/she so foolish and misguided to enlist for the Owners’ military adventurism and further attempts at territorial acquisition for commercial purposes favoring the Few.
    Hoist the flag, beat the drum, did ye learn nothing, from WW I? The fookin’ “Great War”… how soon the mooks forget.
    Thank you for the sanity, Craig Murray.

  • Luc

    Dear Craig,

    a big and warm thank you from Germany for your coverage of this case. The Government’s refutation truly is an astonishing, hilarious fail; I didn’t have such a good laugh in a while.. 🙂 Thank you so much!

  • Billy Bostickson

    Porton Down used to have very lax securitysome years back, all I can reveal publicly is that someone I knew took out a large bottle of adrenalin powder or was it atropine and we used to take small amounts for sexual stimulation.
    If I did the same now I would probably drop dead from a heart attack!
    Point being, things go missing at labs….

  • Scalpel

    The letter to The Sunday Times, under the name o’f Stephen Davies’ is a double bluff .
    Medics are trained in the accurate use of medical terminology, precisely due to the terms used, constituting LEGAL EVIDENCE .
    The phrasing is that of a layman : not a senior medic .
    ” Three people have been treated for ‘ significant ‘ !!! significant of what ? ,” poisoning ” !!! No , he is not a lab analyst : cannot diagnose ACTUAL poisoning .
    According to his LEGAL status, of which real doctors are acutely conscious . He can only say :
    ” With the SYMPTOMS of ( POSSIBLE) poisoning. ” .and NO ‘ significant ‘ about it ! ….” acute ” ; “potentially fatal ” ; or ” mild ” etc …yes, but SIGNIFICANT ! !!! preposterously NOT .

    Ergo this is proof perfect that:
    1. NO medically trained doctor WROTE THIS letter ( at least not in all good conscience ) ;
    2. What it REALLY says is ” A REAL LIFE DOCTOR SAYS THE SKIRPALS : a) EXIST; B) are in hospital ; and by the way so is a ‘policeman’ , who cannot possibly have been exposed to the alleged poison in any case !

    This letter was written by an MI5 hack and typically accepted by this gullible illiterate generation without question ; purely because it is said to be written by an ‘authority ‘, ( what more servile mentality can you get !) and because it APPEARS to ‘contradict’ authority ‘ !!! Even though it obviously ACTS AS THE ONLY ‘EVIDENCE ‘ by an easily faked letter ‘!!!! IN EXISTENCE !!! : that these characters EXIST !!! and or ANY ‘POISON ‘ EXISTS !!!

    For God’;s sake , get a braincell …..everyone .

  • Dr Mary Austin

    Dear Mr Murray

    It strikes me that there is a perfectly plausible stance which underpins the British position of ambiguity as to whether Russia is the source of the nerve agent. And it is this: it is being deliberately vague so as not to reveal further information to the Russians. Indeed, by being definitive, the UK might reveal information that it would rather not let the Russians know it has. For example, it is hypothetically possible that the UK has a sample of the agent sourced from Russia. It is not in any way in the UKs interest to reveal this as a) it reveals an advantage the UK has and b) it could reveal a source that the UK has. In sum, I think it is unwise to be definitive about anything but my inclination would be to believe that the Brits know exactly what they are doing. It is equally plausible that you are being fed information by your sources to help muddy the picture further.

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