Theresa May confirmed the expulsion of 23 high-level diplomat during an address to the House of Commons.
She announced her decision in the wake of last week’s nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia.
She said 23 dipomats will be given just one week to leave the UK.
The PM said the dipomats were identified as undeclared intelligence officials.
She said: “This is the single biggest expulsion in 30 years.”
Mrs May said this lunchtime: “The UK government concluded it was highly likely Russia was responsible for this attack.”Either this was a direct attack by the Russian state against our country or conceivably the country could have lost control of the military grade nerve agent.
“Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of this situation.
And the Foreign Office has called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to update members on the investigation.
Russia, also a member of the Security Council, has denied any involvement in the attack.
The Foreign Office said: “The UK has called for an urgent meeting of the UN
Security Council to update Council members on the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.”
And the Russian ambassador to the UK has also now been called to the Foreign Office.
Alexander Yakovenko told Sky News the UK’s response to the Salisbury incident is “unacceptable” and a “provocation”.
And Nato said the UK had briefed its North Atlantic Council today about the Skripal attack.
A statement said: “Allies expressed deep concern at the first offensive use of a nerve agent on Alliance territory since NATO’s foundation.
“Allies expressed solidarity with the UK, offered their support in the conduct of the ongoing investigation, and called on Russiato address the UK’s questions including providing full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“Allies agreed that the attack was a clear breach of international norms and agreements.
“Nato regards any use of chemical weapons as a threat to international peace and security.”
This is a developing story, more to follow…