Sunday: Sunny, Minimum Temperature: 16°C (60°F) Maximum Temperature: 27°C (80°F)

Outlook for Tuesday to Thursday

Breezy on Tuesday with largely dry conditions and sunny spells, albeit some areas of cloud may appear at times, bringing the slim chance of a light shower. Feeling cooler. Wednesday will be fine with sunny spells but breezy at times. Thursday will be generally dry with lengthy periods of sunshine. However, a few showers cannot be ruled out. Feeling warmer once again.

Brexit: Johnson criticises May’s EU customs plan

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTheresa May: “We will bring an end to free movement”

Boris Johnson strongly criticised Theresa May’s plan for a customs relationship with the EU before agreeing to back it at Friday’s cabinet meeting, the BBC understands.

The prime minister held a meeting at Chequers on Friday, where the cabinet agreed to support her favoured option.

But it has emerged Mr Johnson initially made the argument Mrs May’s plan would leave the UK as a “vassal state”,

The prime minister said her plan would ensure that Brexit is delivered.

Critics have said the plan would be “unworkable” and could cost the Conservatives the next election.

Mr Johnson has told colleagues the plan could be a “serious inhibitor to free trade”, according to BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley.

But an ally of the foreign secretary told him the comments were made in a humorous style, and after a dinner at Chequers Mr Johnson paid a rousing tribute to the prime minister.

The Observer reports that more than 100 entrepreneurs and business leaders regard Mrs May’s plan as “unworkable” and “costly and bureaucratic”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said the “time has come for a new leader” which he believes should be Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

‘Suffer the consequences’

Mr Bridgen called Mrs May’s Brexit pledges “a pretence and charade intended to dupe the electorate”.

Mr Rees-Mogg warned that “a very soft Brexit means that we haven’t left, we are simply a rule-taker”.

A briefing being circulated to the European Research Group (ERG) – a group of Eurosceptic Conservative backbench MPs, which Mr Rees-Mogg leads – says the prime minister’s plan “would lead directly to a worst-of-all-worlds black hole Brexit”.

The 18-page document expresses concern the UK would have to follow EU laws and European Court of Justice rulings and would not be able to develop an “effective international trade policy”.

Image copyright Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Image caption Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned that Mrs May’s plan is not what the Brexit-supporters voted for

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith told the Sunday Telegraph said if the public perceive Mrs May’s plan as “continued membership” of the customs union and single market for goods, the government “will suffer the consequences at the next election”.

But Mrs May told the Sunday Times: “The only challenge that needs to be made now is to the European Union to get serious about this, to come round the table and discuss it with us.”

She said her plan was a “serious, workable proposal” and when people voted to leave the EU, “they wanted to take control of our money, our laws and our borders and that’s exactly what we will do”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTheresa May: “This is a serious, workable proposal”

The main details from the Chequers statement:

  • The UK would accept continuing “harmonisation” with EU rules on the trade in goods, covering only those necessary to ensure frictionless trade
  • Parliament would have the final say over how these rules are incorporated into UK law, retaining the right to refuse to do so
  • There will be different arrangements for trade in services, including financial products, with greater “regulatory flexibility” and “strong reciprocal arrangements”
  • Freedom of movement as it stands will come to an end but a “mobility framework” will ensure UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories and apply for study and work
  • A new customs arrangement will be phased in, with the goal of “a combined customs territory”
  • The UK will be able to control its own tariffs and develop an independent trade policy
  • The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will end but the UK will pay regard to its decisions in areas where common rules are in force

Royal hat-maker Philip Treacy ‘feared head on spike’

Princess Beatrice in hatImage copyright David Jones/PA Wire
Image caption The hat later sold at auction for more than £80,000

The hat-maker who made Princess Beatrice’s distinctive headwear for the 2011 royal wedding said he feared his design could see his “head on a spike”.

The Irish milliner, 51, made the claim on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs which airs on Sunday.

The ‘pretzel’ hat sold for £81,100.01 after Beatrice wore it to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Mr Treacy has made headwear for other famous people including Madonna, Lady Gaga and Grace Jones.

He was mentored alongside Alexander McQueen by fashion magazine editor Isabella Blow and went on to work for Ralph Lauren and Givenchy.

Mr Treacy said the annual Royal Ascot horse races were like “Christmas” due to the popularity of his designs among a number of high-profile guests.

When asked by presenter Kirsty Young what luxury item he would like with him on an desert island, Mr Treacy said he would want a sewing thimble.

Image copyright Ian West/PA Wire
Image caption Philip Treacy was mentored alongside AlexanderMcQueen

He described the backlash against the distinctive, towering ‘pretzel’ design made for Princess Beatrice in 2011, worn at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He told Young: “There was a moment where I thought I would find myself with my head on a spike outside the Tower of London.

“But it was a very modern hat and modernity is always unusual things.”

Mr Treacy, who was inspired to go into hat-making by the weddings he witnessed as a child in a village church, credits the support of his late father, a baker, in rural Ireland for his success.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPrincess Beatrice chose a hat designed by Philip Treacy for the royal wedding

“I have come from a very humble background, I have made hats for kings and queens,” said Mr Treacy, who recalled making clothes for dolls when he was a child.

“One of the strongest memories I have is being in somebody’s house and my father’s friend saying ‘don’t you think that’s a little odd, don’t you think it’s a bit strange this child is doing this?’

“And I remember distinctly my father saying: ‘Whatever makes him happy.’ It moves me still.”

Was the newlywed mechanic who stole a plane shot down?

Paul Meyer with his wife, Jane

In 1969, at the height of the Cold War, a homesick, hungover mechanic in the US Air Force stole a plane from his base in East Anglia and set off for Virginia. Nearly two hours later, he disappeared suddenly over the English Channel. Did he simply crash or was he shot down? Emma Jane Kirby has been scouring the archives to find out.

I’ve known for some time that 23-year-old Sgt Paul Meyer called his wife from the cockpit of his stolen Hercules aircraft – Jane Goodson, as she’s now called, told me this herself when she spoke to me from her home in Virginia.

“Honey!” he had told her triumphantly, waking her from a deep sleep. “I got a bird in the sky and I’m coming home!”

What I didn’t realise then, however, was that the last 20 minutes or so of their conversation was recorded. And when the transcript of that recording was sent to me, I will admit that I sat down and wept.

By the time the tape recorder was rolling, Meyer’s jubilation and bravado had left him. The cold reality of what he’d just done – and what lay ahead – had hit him squarely.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe last conversation between the homesick mechanic and his wife, read by actors – from PM on BBC Radio 4

“Well, honey I’ll be really honest with you,” he admits. “I kind of think I made a big dang wrong mistake here. I feel like the biggest dodo around here right now. Over.”

Jane, clearly petrified, has to still her own nerves as she tries to reassure her panicking husband.

“You are the most wonderful thing in this whole world, you hear?” she says. “Honey, I’m going to bring you home, I’m going to fly you right in here, OK? Over.”

Then Meyer’s commanding officer tries to cut across the line. “Sgt Meyer! Sgt Meyer! This is Col Kingery, do you read me?” he says. “It’s Col Kingery from Mildenhall. Over!”

Alone in the 37-tonne, four-engine transport plane he was not qualified to fly, Meyer – unsure of his direction and unsure of what he was doing – tells his wife desperately: “Everything will be all worth it if I can just kiss your sweet lips one more time. Over.”

And Jane, his wife of just 55 days, promises him: “You’ll get to kiss my sweet lips until we are old and grey in the rocking chairs in Missouri. Over.”

Twenty minutes later, after Meyer has switched the plane to autopilot, the call cuts off. Meyer’s final recorded words are: “I’m doing all right, I’m doing all right, uh.”

Although he’d passed the USAF’s “human reliability test” comfortably in the weeks before being posted to the UK, it’s clear that Meyer had not been “doing all right” for some time. A Vietnam veteran, he’d been suffering from flashbacks and nightmares and – homesick and unhappy – he was reportedly drinking heavily.

In 1969, Sgt Ralph Howard Vincent, known by the nickname Sgt Mac, was serving in the 48th Air Police squadron at RAF Lakenheath, a few miles from Meyer’s Mildenhall base. The first time he met Paul Meyer in a Suffolk pub, he thinks, Meyer had passed out from the amount of drink he’d consumed. He remembers banging a table to ask Meyer if he and his friends could share it with him, and Meyer, slumped across it, failed to stir.

It was only when the others bought a round that Meyer lifted his head, pushed his empty pint glass towards them and said: “I’ll let you sit here if you buy me a drink!”

Sgt Mac spent two long evenings in the pub with Meyer and distinctly recalls Meyer ranting against the USAF, which he said was forcing him to work long hours away from his beloved family. He talked a lot, says Sgt Mac, about his “beautiful wife” and “wonderful step-children” and advised Sgt Mac to settle down and get married too, even though he was only 21. He also offered him some recipes for cooking squirrel. But it was a conversation about flying that really struck Sgt Mac.

“Paul came up with a proposition,” he explains. “He said he wanted to get a private pilot’s licence so he could fly home on leave… and he wanted to split the cost 50:50 with me… Looking back, I don’t think he just got in that plane and took off. I think this was long-planned.”

Sgt Mac took a liking to Meyer and made plans to meet him again in the pub. But a few days later, just before breakfast, he remembers hearing a loud roar and his barracks at RAF Lakenheath shaking. He didn’t know it then but it was Meyer who’d taken off in the stolen Hercules, on his way home.

In his beautiful Cambridge garden, Vic Blickem shakes his head as he remembers that day. Back then Blickem worked for the USAF at Mildenhall in the casualty assistance office and it was his job to write to his superiors to tell them what had happened, so they could co-ordinate assistance to Meyer’s family. He remembers struggling to fill in the paperwork.

“We were totally flummoxed – we didn’t know if we should write Missing, Awol, Deserter, or what,” he tells me. “So we came up with some form of words or other to get by… We wrote messages, I guess, for a couple of days then we were told not to send any more, and not to ask for updates and we were just shut down. We were shut out. I asked my section commander if he thought Meyer was shot down and he said: ‘Well, of course.'”

The US Air Force still has a presence at RAF Mildenhall – it’s now home to the 100th Refuelling Wing.

“See that older building there?” asks Dr Robert Mackey, the USAF wing historian, as we wander around the huge base with its lawns shrivelled by the searing summer heat. “That’s where Meyer would have eaten his meals.” We head towards the shade of a large tree, watching a Hercules thunder overhead. I ask Mackey how the USAF views the Meyer incident today.

“It was a series of bad decisions by people who should have known better,” he says firmly. “And now we have systems in place to stop this kind of thing from ever happening again.” The facts that Meyer had just come back from Vietnam and was newly married were major stress factors. “The Air Force may not have done what it needed to do to take care of a guy who was clearly in crisis.”

Mackey can’t pinpoint exactly the location of hard stand 21, from which Meyer taxied up the runway – the base has greatly changed over time and even the control tower is in its third reincarnation since 1969. A young bare-chested airman walks past us in shorts, eating ice cream.

“It was a different time,” Mackey says. “Put yourself in the position of those guys – it was 1969, not 1999 – it was the Cold War and you never knew what was going on. Was he stealing the plane? Deserting? Going to East Germany? No-one knew. The system reacted – albeit slower than it could have been. It was a sad incident that resulted in a guy getting killed at the end.”

So did the system react by shooting him down?

“No!” retorts Mackey. “No. You’ve read the transcripts I’ve read and that is not what happened.”

But the transcript of the Mildenhall control tower’s conversations with the squadron leader, Col Kingery, various radar posts and the USAF’s Central Security Control, don’t quite tally with the sparse account in the official USAF official Accident Report (all obtained by Sgt Mac through a freedom of information request, along with the transcript of the conversation between Meyer and his wife).

The accident report claims that only two aircraft – a Hercules from RAF Mildenhall and an F-100 from RAF Lakenheath – were launched to try to find Meyer. Neither visual nor radio contact was established by either aircraft and they both simply returned to base. But the control tower transcript proves that a number of other aircraft took off to intercept Meyer’s Hercules. At some point during the search, a British official is recorded telling Col Kingery: “It looks like the French will be sending some fighters up now. This (position) will take him down into the French air which we couldn’t really go down into.”

Image copyright National Archives

And it wasn’t just the French who scrambled fighters. In 1969, the east coast of England was peppered with Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) bases ready to respond to Russian threats.

At RAF Wattisham, Peter Nash was a senior aircraftsman with 29 Squadron and he distinctly remembers preparing three Lightning fighter aircraft to scramble.

“A klaxon went off, set off by the aircrew,” he recalls. “So we rushed out and got the aircraft ready, the pilots strapped in and quite soon Q1, the primary aircraft, was ordered to scramble. We knew something serious was going up.”

Nash shows me photographs of the QRA hangar at Wattisham. He tells me that two of the three aircraft he helped prepare took off, loaded with missiles.

“It was later that morning we heard a USAF guy had stolen an aircraft from Mildenhall,” he continues. “And obviously it was our duty as the nearest QRA base to investigate unknown aircraft, so ours were sent to find him, shadow him and, if necessary, to shoot him down.”

There is an account of that Wattisham operation in a 2011 book called The Lightning Boys. In it, former RAF pilot Rick Groombridge details how an American exchange pilot took over his aircraft at Wattisham to take part in the Meyer mission and was rumoured to have returned to base minus a missile. Groombridge declined to be interviewed but stands by his story. Nash, however, is adamant that both planes returned to base with all four missiles intact – he should know, he explains, as he was the chief armourer and was responsible for inspecting the weapons and removing the firing plugs.

A few weeks after the incident, Nash was sent on a course where he met a fellow armourer from RAF Chivenor in Devon, who told him that at least one Hawker Hunter was scrambled from his base. Allegedly, the Hunter pilot had returned to Chivenor minus missiles and was met by the RAF police and taken away for a secret debrief along with his plane’s camera gun. Nash says he keeps an open mind about the accuracy of the story but observes that Chivenor, being about 150 miles from where Meyer’s Hercules went down in the Channel, was about 35 minutes flying time away for a Hunter.

“In other words,” Nash says thoughtfully, “it was well within capability.”

In the Channel’s busy shipping lanes, dive boat operator Grahame Knott continues to, as he puts it, “mow the lawn”, searching for wreckage of Meyer’s Hercules with Deeper Dorset, a team of divers. He’s now scoured eight sq miles of seabed, examining targets with a side scanner and using remote cameras to pick up more detail on anything that looks particularly interesting. He’s yet to spot anything, although there have been many false alarms. The next step will be to send down divers to look at specific targets. It’s painstaking work – getting to this stage has taken 10 years of planning.

Image copyright Deeper Dorset
Image caption A wreck detected on the seabed by Grahame Knott

“Why do I do it?” Knott wonders aloud. “Honestly, I ask myself that all the time and I just keep coming back to the image of young Meyer up there in that plane, completely alone and I guess I’m just doing it for him. He was just a kid, you know?” he says. “Just a homesick kid.”

When I first interviewed Meyer’s stepson, Henry Ayer, a few months back, he warned me, very gently, to be careful because this story would suck me in. He was just seven when “Daddy Paul” died and he’s spent most of his adult life trying to get more information about what caused him to crash. Worn down by conspiracy theories, by conflicting accounts and hearsay, he now just wants to bring Daddy Paul’s body home to Virginia.

The official line is that Meyer’s body was never found. Yet eight weeks after Meyer’s plane crashed into the Channel, two unidentified bodies washed up in Jersey. Detailed contemporary accounts from the Jersey Evening Post tell us that there was great excitement about a male corpse, thought to be aged around 25, found at La Saline Bay, St John’s, by a rod fisherman. A subsequent inquest on the body concluded the young man had probably died from drowning. He was never identified although his teeth, which showed dental work of “the British type”, were apparently not a match with Meyer’s. He was buried in a pauper’s grave on the island.

But the newspaper also carried reports about another unidentified body. On 17 July 1969, a launch, the Duchess of Normandy, was sailing back from Carteret in France with several dignitaries on board, when the skipper, Doug Park, spotted a badly decomposed, headless body floating in the water. He wanted to bring the body aboard but was asked not to because of the poor state the corpse was in.

His great friend, Ian Moignard, remembers Park’s anger – and he also remembers Park describing the body.

“Doug Park told me it was in some sort of uniform… I think some kind of boiler suit. I do remember he said he’d written down some markings that were on the uniform – I presume he meant a service number on the lapel. But unfortunately the records at the harbour office have been destroyed or just can’t be found.”

The official USAF accident report tells us that Meyer had been dressed in plain clothes the previous evening at a house party – he’d borrowed a friend’s trousers for the occasion – but just before he stole the plane, the report says, Meyer had changed into flight gear.

Park told Moignard that he’d tied the uniformed body to a buoy and alerted the authorities. But by the time the authorities got there it had become detached and floated away.

The next day, the crew of a pleasure yacht, the Tien-Ho, also spotted the headless corpse but because there were very young children present, the skipper felt unable to haul it aboard. Those children, now long grown up, are currently searching for Tien-Ho’s missing log book, in the hope their parents might have written down more details.

So the body floated free and Meyer’s family was never told about the sighting.

The official telegram Meyer’s widow Jane received from Washington, DC three weeks after Meyer disappeared is truly extraordinary.

“It is with deep regret,” reads the document, “that I learned of the death of your son.” The word “son” has then been crossed out and the word “husband” penned above it. “Overseas Commander has advised me,” continues the telegram, “that remains of your son have not been recovered.”

I show it to Vic Blickem as we sip coffee in his sunny garden.

He puts his head in his hands.

“That’s just terrible, it’s just terrible,” he says. “It’s either so casual they don’t care or so incompetent they are negligent. But how terrible for the family.”

He laughs self-consciously.

“You know, we all hoped he’d make it,” he says. “We wanted him to make it, to get home and to live happily ever after – we even looked at maps to study islands south of England where we thought he might be able to land.”

Sgt Paul Meyer’s wife, Jane, hoped against hope for that fairy-tale ending too. The cockpit radio transcript tells us she had put the hot water on, all ready for him when he walked through the door. But the narrative didn’t take the course she’d prayed for and it was the USAF chaplain who knocked on the door instead.

Once upon a time there was a young, troubled war veteran who just wanted to go home. We are still working on the end of the story.

Join the conversation – find us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Donald Trump UK visit to put ‘unquestionable pressure” on police

Donald and Melania TrumpImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be in the UK for two days

Donald Trump’s visit to the UK in the next week will put “unquestionable pressure” on UK police forces, the Police Federation has warned.

The US president will spend time in London, Windsor and Scotland during the two-day working visit.

Thousands are expected to protest and police forces from across the country have been asked to send officers to assist.

The Home Office said other forces can be “recompensed by the hosting force”.

Forces assist one another outside their regions when dealing with major incidents and emergencies, under the so-called “mutual aid” agreement.

Mr Trump’s visit will see thousands of officers deployed from their home forces, said Simon Kempton, from the Police Federation of England and Wales.

“The fact cannot be ignored that while the officers on mutual aid are deployed elsewhere thousands more of their colleagues left behind in their home force will be expected to pick up the slack, leaving them even more stretched,” he said.

“There was a time when we could do it all but now choices have to be made – we cannot do it all and this type of event puts a service which is already creaking at its knees under unquestionable pressure.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protesters plan to fly a Trump baby balloon over Parliament Square in London during the visit

Mr Trump will fly to the UK on Thursday afternoon with First Lady Melania Trump, following a Nato summit in Brussels.

The couple will attend a black-tie dinner on Thursday at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, before spending the night at Winfield House in London.

On Friday, the president will travel to Chequers in Buckinghamshire for bilateral talks with Theresa May. In the afternoon, he will meet the Queen in Windsor and then fly to Scotland, where the couple plan to spend the weekend.

Thousands are expected to protest in London on Thursday and Friday and marches are also planned for Scotland, where Mr Trump owns golf courses.

The Treasury has confirmed it will fund policing costs of up to £5m in Scotland.

With officers sent in to help, local policing was being reduced to a “reactive service”, Mr Kempton said, with additional strain due to the World Cup and the Novichok poisonings in Amesbury.

“You have to ask what would happen if were unable to resource incidents like these,” Mr Kempton added.

“Would we see the situation where the military were drafted in place of police officers? Green uniforms instead of the blue ones people would – and should – expect to see? It’s a worrying prospect.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said discussions were ongoing about “how the resource requirements of this massive operation will be met” but a spokesman said: “We are confident that forces will continue to maintain local policing services.”

Calls for tax reform as Scottish ‘rich get richer’

Scottish moneyImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Higher earners are earning more according to HM Revenue and Customs

The income of people who earn more than £150,000 a year has increased by 89% under the Conservative government, according to official figures.

Scottish Labour highlighted HM Revenue and Customs data which shows the total income of this group has gone up from £3.7bn in 2010/11 to £7bn in 2015/16.

The party has called for reform of the income tax system.

The Scottish government said it has used its tax powers to create “a fairer and more progressive” system.

The figures also showed the total income of those earning under £20,000 a year has risen by 1.8% in the same period.

Scottish Labour urged the Scottish government to make bold moves to tax the rich, accusing it of “timid tinkering” with its tax powers.

‘Biggest burden’

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: “It’s time for real change, not just more of the same: a more equal Scotland where the broadest shoulders bear the biggest burden.

“The income of Scotland’s super rich is soaring – but the SNP’s income tax changes tinkered around the edges, putting only a penny on the top rate.

“The impact of that is cuts to public services and squeezed living standards for working class people in Scotland, with over 400,000 people in Scotland earning less than the living wage.”

Image copyright Getty Images

A spokesman for Finance and Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Using the tax powers available to the Scottish government we have created a fairer and more progressive income tax system, which will deliver an additional £1.2bn over the next five years to invest in public services.

“Labour’s incompetent budget and tax alternative would be counterproductive and actually generate less tax money from the highest earners. Our system gets the balance right, and delivers more investment for services, not less.

“The main risks to Scotland’s future prosperity are continued Westminster austerity and the huge threat posed by the Tories’ shambolic Brexit plans, taking us out of the customs union and the single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone.”

Wiltshire Police officer given all-clear over Novichok fear

Officers in protective suitsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The nerve agent is highly toxic and can pass through the skin

A police officer tested for possible exposure to a nerve agent in Salisbury has been given the medical all-clear.

The Wiltshire Police officer was treated a short distance from Amesbury where Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, fell ill last Saturday.

They remain in a critical condition after being exposed to Novichok by handling a contaminated item.

The officer was cleared at Salisbury District Hospital.

Wiltshire Police confirmed that one of their officers had been “seeking medical advice” at the hospital as part of “a precautionary measure”.

A Salisbury District Hospital spokesperson said: “There is nothing to suggest there is any wider risk to anyone at the hospital.”

The spokesperson added that the hospital had “the ability to carry out the appropriate specialist tests.

“Salisbury District Hospital has seen a number of members of the public who have come to the hospital with health concerns since this incident started and none have required any treatment.

“We would like to reiterate the advice from Public Health England (PHE) that the risk to the wider public remains low.”

The emergency department at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where the officer initially attended had been closed but reopened at about 22:00 BST.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill on Saturday

An operation into the poisoning of Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess is expected to take months as police examine more than 1,300 hours of CCTV footage.

Police are conducting a search for the item believed to have exposed the pair to Novichok.

However, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the hunt has been hindered by the heatwave as chemical weapons experts wearing Hazmat (Hazardous Material) suits can only spend a few minutes inside the property being searched.

Locations visited by the couple, as identified by the police, include Muggleton Road, Boots pharmacy and the Baptist church in Amesbury; John Baker House and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

PHE issued “highly precautionary advice” for anyone who visited those locations to wash worn clothes with a regular detergent at normal temperature and wipe items like phones and handbags.

This investigation comes months after the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the “strong working assumption” was that the pair came into contact with Novichok in a location which had not been cleaned up following the Skripal poisoning.

He called on Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on” and accused the country of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison”.

The Russian Embassy accused the UK of trying to “frighten its own citizens”.

Tuesday: Sunny, Minimum Temperature: 14°C (58°F) Maximum Temperature: 24°C (74°F)

Outlook for Tuesday to Thursday

Breezy on Tuesday with largely dry conditions and sunny spells, albeit some areas of cloud may appear at times, bringing the slim chance of a light shower. Feeling cooler. Wednesday will be fine with sunny spells but breezy at times. Thursday will be generally dry with lengthy periods of sunshine. However, a few showers cannot be ruled out. Feeling warmer once again.