National News

Supplied by

Charles and Camilla visit Salisbury in bid to boost morale after nerve agent attack

4:03 pm, 22nd June 2018

The life of the city has been severely disrupted since former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned with novichok in March.

They were left fighting for their lives after being found unconscious on a park bench, but have since been discharged from hospital.

Charles and Camilla met workers at pop-up market stalls next to where the bench, which has been removed, used to be.

They also spoke to people from The Maltings shopping centre.

Before entering Guildhall Square, where they were greeted by hundreds of people waving union flags, the couple walked past the Zizzi restaurant where the Skripals ate.

“I think their visit is very important – it boosts morale and (will) hopefully bring people back to the city. We need tourists to survive,” said Jessica Fulton, who lives and works in Salisbury.

Superintendent Dave Minty, who co-ordinated the initial response to the Skripal incident, said the “brilliant” visit emphasised that “we are doing the right thing and Salisbury is recovering”.

The acting dean of Salisbury Cathedral, Canon Edward Probert, said he was “grateful and glad” the couple had visited a city which has “shown considerable resilience and resolve”.

Some 250 detectives have gone through more than 5,000 hours of CCTV and interviewed more than 500 witnesses.

The government has accused Russia of being behind the attack – but Moscow has repeatedly denied any responsibility.