Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has set aside £11 million to spend on improving the UK’s response to chemical attacks, the Ministry of Defence said.

The announcement comes on the eve of the anniversary of the Salisbury Novichok nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia.

Threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks are “increasing” globally and the UK must be able to counter them, according to the Ministry of Defence.

It said the money will pay for measures including the development of plans to deploy drones and robots in areas that might be hazardous to people because of nerve agents.

Other developments include boosting the technical capability to analyse substances at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and funding advances in medical advancements to help combat chemical agents.

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