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Daughter of Russian double agent poisoned alongside father improving in hospital

Yulia Skripal was said to be “improving rapidly” after being exposed to Novichok on a visit to Salisbury.

The daughter of a former Russian double agent poisoned alongside her father in a nerve agent attack is now stable in hospital, doctors said.

Yulia Skripal was “improving rapidly” after being exposed to Novichok on March 4 in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Her father, ex-spy Sergei Skripal, remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Police believe Mr Skripal and his daughter, who was visiting him from Russia, first came into contact with the deadly chemical at his home in Salisbury.

Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director for Salisbury District Hospital, said: “I’m pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal.

“She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day.

“I want to take this opportunity to once again thank the staff of Salisbury District Hospital for delivering such high quality care to these patients over the last few weeks.

“I am very proud both of our front-line staff and all those who support them.”

Police believe Mr Skripal and his daughter, who was visiting him from Russia, first came into contact with the deadly chemical at his home in Salisbury.

Detailed forensic testing revealed the highest concentration of Novichok was found on the front door.

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Around 250 counter terrorism detectives continue to work around the clock on the investigation (PA)

The Metropolitan Police said traces of the nerve agent had been found at some of the other scenes detectives have been working at, but at lower concentrations.

Detectives will now focus their inquiries in and around the address, and specialist teams will step back from some of the other areas investigated over the past few weeks.

Britain has accused Russia of being behind the poisoning – allegations fiercely denied by Moscow.

In turn, Russia has suggested that UK intelligence officers may have been involved in the poisoning.

The Kremlin allegation came as Moscow faced increasing global isolation, with at least 26 countries expelling a total of more than 130 suspected spies.

Britain insists there is no plausible alternative explanation for the attack, and has dismissed the series of suggestions emanating from Moscow as nonsense.

Around 250 counter terrorism detectives continue to work around the clock on the investigation, which is expected to continue for months.

Officers are examining more than 5,000 hours of CCTV footage and 1,350 exhibits that have been seized, while 500 witnesses have been identified.

The London Road cemetery, where his wife and son are buried, the Maltings shopping centre where Mr Skripal and his daughter were discovered unconscious, and the Ashley Wood compound have been handed back into the control of Wiltshire Police.

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