The Prime Minister needs to join Australia and others and immediately take a stand alongside the UK in the wake of the military-grade nerve agent attack on UK soil, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Following the use of a Russian produced nerve agent in an attempted execution of a British citizen the UK is calling on its friends and allies to join it in taking action against Russia.

“The attack has left a former Russian spy and his daughter in a critical condition and others hospitalised.

“This is an appalling, violent breach of the sovereignty of one of New Zealand’s closest friends. The evidence points to Russian responsibility and the Ardern-Peters Government must join the likes of the European Union, the US and Australia in expressing its support of the UK in the strongest possible terms.

“Foreign Minister Winston Peters is fast earning himself an international reputation as an apologist for Russia and his inexplicable push for a free trade agreement is raising questions and concerns among our closest partners – and threatening our own trade agenda.

“The Prime Minister needs to shut him down and start showing some leadership to our friends and allies.

“This Ardern-Peters Government is continuing to put its personal biases ahead of the national interest and that must stop.”

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