Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital after recovering from Salisbury nerve agent attack
Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital more than two months after he and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent.
Double agent Mr Skripal, 66, was left fighting for his life in a coma after the attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire, but after weeks of specialist care his condition rapidly improved.
His 33-year-old daughter was released from Salisbury District Hospital on April 10 and was reportedly taken to a secure location.
It was not revealed where Mr Skripal was taken after he was discharged.
It has been reported that the Skripals could receive new identities while they are under police protection following their release from hospital.
Scotland Yard said detectives are continuing to investigate the "dreadful" attack but added it will not discuss "any protective or security arrangements".
Wiltshire Police Det Sgt Nick Bailey also spent time in a serious condition in hospital after he was exposed to the nerve agent during the police response.Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now
In a statement, the hospital said: "While these patients have now been discharged, their right to patient confidentiality remains and limits us from giving detailed accounts of the treatment these individuals received.
"However, treating people who are so acutely unwell , having been poisoned by nerve agents, requires stabilising them, keeping them alive until their bodies could produce more enzymes to replace those that had been poisoned."
Salisbury District Hospital chief executive, Cara Charles-Barks, said: "It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital.
"That he, Yulia and DS Bailey have been able to leave us so soon after coming into contact with this nerve agent is thanks to the hard work, skill and professionalism of our clinicians, who provide outstanding care to all our patients, day in and day out.
""This has been a difficult time for those caught up in this incident - the patients, our staff and the people of Salisbury.
"I want to thank the public for their support, and I want to pay a special tribute to both the clinical staff he re at the trust and those who work so hard behind the scenes.
"They've demonstrated the very best of the NHS."
Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at the hospital, said: "We have been able to discharge Sergei Skripal.
"This is an important stage in his recovery, which will now take place away from the hospital.
"Treating him and the other two people poisoned by this nerve agent, while still providing outstanding care to the other patients who rely on our hospital, has been a huge and unprecedented challenge that I'm proud our staff at Salisbury Hospital have risen to."
Professor Steve Powis, medical director of NHS England, said: "I would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and all the other staff whose skills, compassion and dedication have saved the lives of Yulia and Sergei Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey."
Prof Powis described their "remarkable recovery" as a reminder of the "world-class treatment and care" available at local hospitals around the country.
Meanwhile, police said detectives are still working to "establish the full facts and circumstances" behind the attack.
A Scotland Yard statement said: "Detectives from the UK's Counter Terrorism Policing network continue to investigate the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March this year.Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now
"They are both making good progress and we are pleased that Mr Skripal has now also been released from hospital, which was announced by the NHS earlier this morning.
"This is a complex investigation and detectives continue to gather and piece together all the evidence to establish the full facts and circumstances behind this dreadful attack.
"In the interests of Sergei and Yulia's safety, we will not be discussing any protective or security arrangements that are in place."
Prime Minister Theresa May has blamed Russia for the attack on the Skripals, telling MPs a military-grade novichok nerve agent was used in an attempt to murder the pair.
Moscow has denied any involvement in the poisoning of its former military intelligence colonel, who was granted refuge in the UK after being jailed for betraying fellow Russian spies and sharing secrets with MI6.
Mr Skripal was pardoned in 2010 and released as part of a Cold War-style spy swap between Moscow and Washington.
He settled in Salisbury and lived a quiet life until the poisoning on March 4, a day after his daughter had arrived from Moscow to visit him.
Britain's accusations have sparked a diplomatic row with Russia which led to both countries - and the UK's allies - expelling diplomats as relations hit their lowest point since the Cold War came to an end.
The Skripals were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4, and it believed the poison was applied to the door of Mr Skripal's home in Salisbury.
An expert has said up to 100 grams of a deadly nerve agent may have been used in the first known offensive use of novichok on European s oil since World War Two.
Ahmet Uzumcu, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said samples of novichok taken after the attack were of "high purity".Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now
Around half a cup of the nerve agent was used to poison the Skripals, it is believed, and could have been applied as a liquid or aerosol, he told the New York Times.
The attack sparked speculation that Mr Skripal was marked for death by Russia for betraying fellow agents years ago, a claim that the Kremlin has denied.
Moscow has claimed Britain carried out the attack itself to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.
Skripal poisoning latest
The probe into the poisoning is one of the biggest counter-terrorism investigations ever launched in Britain, with hundreds of officers and a range of experts and partners involved.
Officers have gone through more than 5,000 hours of CCTV, interviewed hundreds of people and examined more than 1,350 exhibits that have been seized.
In the aftermath, British police have launched a review of security of Russian defectors living in the UK.
Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK's top national security chief, previously told MPs that officers are looking at the security of "people who might be vulnerable".
He revealed earlier this month that police have not yet identified the person or people who poisoned the Skripals.
After the Skripals were poisoned, police and intelligence services were instructed to look at 14 other deaths which were not originally treated as suspicious but where allegations of Russian state involvement had been made.Source: Google News