Plans for new chemical weapons defence centre

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to announce that a new £48 million chemical weapons facility will be located at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down.

In light of the growing threat from Russia and North Korea, scientists at the Wiltshire lab recently helped identify the nerve agent used to attack ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

As the UK plans to expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to the reported Russian involvement in the attack, Williamson will say that expertise in chemical, biological and radiological warfare needs to be further developed to confront potential hostile activity by states and individuals.

The Defence Secretary will also reveal that thousands of British troops will be vaccinated against anthrax, so that they are ready to deploy to areas where the risk of this type of attack exists.

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