Salisbury spy attack officer Nick Bailey discharged from hospital
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, the police officer who was poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent while working on the investigation into the targeted attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, has been discharged from hospital.
Both Sergei, 66, and 33-year-old Yulia Skripal remain in critical but stable conditions in hospital.
In a statement read out by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, Det Sgt Bailey said his "life will never be the same again" following his exposure to the poison more than two weeks ago.
He continued that he has been "overwhelmed" by the support he has received during what has been a "surreal" experience and paid tribute to the "phenomenal" care he had received while in hospital "from the man that cleans the floor to the doctors giving the treatment".
Det Sgt Bailey also praised the public, saying their support "has lifted me throughout the last few weeks", especially that shown to other police officers.
Det Sgt Bailey thanked the community, "from the local businesses providing food and hot drinks to the officers standing for endless hours on the cordons, to the members of the public just showing their support for our work - have been quite simply overwhelming to hear about".
Det Sgt Bailey's wife, Sarah, also praised the support the family had received in the wake of the incident, and praised her husband as a "hero".
"This has quite simply been the most traumatic event of our life and it feels like our world has been turned upside down in a really short space of time," Ms Bailey said in a statement read out by Chief Con Pritchard.
"I am so grateful for the support from our immediate family and friends and the police family liaison officers through this last few weeks - I really don't know how I would have coped without them.
"I never really realised what the term 'police family' was all about until this incident - but now I really do.
"All the messages we have received from the police family have been so heart-warming and have meant so very much to me, I can't put it into words.
"Nick doesn't like the term hero, but he has always been a hero to me and our children."
Below is the full statement from Det Sgt Bailey
After reading out the statements from the Bailey's, Chief Con Pritchard praised Det Sgt Bailey and said he had been "personally been amazed at Nick's strength and resilience.
"He really is a credit to Wiltshire Police and the wider police family."
Chief Con Pritchard also praised "the incredible staff at Salisbury District Hospital.
"They have done, and continue to do, a truly amazing job under intense national and international focus.
"Their dedication and professionalism is simply inspiring."
He continued that "our thoughts and prayers equally remain with Sergei and Yulia Skripal and their family".
Finishing the update outside Salisbury General Hospital, Chief Con Pritchard said the "complex investigation" into the attempted murders of the Skripals is "highly likely to take many months".
He added that anyone with any information on the attack should contact police on 101.
In a tweet, John Glen, the MP for Salisbury said he was "very pleased" to hear that Det Sgt Bailey had been discharged, adding that "everyone in Salisbury owes him a debt of gratitude for the bravery he has shown in the line of duty".
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Det Sgt Bailey's discharge came on the same day that a Court of Protection judge gave permission for blood samples to be taken from the Skripals so that tests can be carried out by chemical weapons experts.
Meanwhile, at a summit of the European Council, Theresa May pressed the leaders of the other 27 EU member states for a united statement condemning the Russian attack.
While back in London, Russia's ambassador Alexander Yakovenko condemned Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's comparison between Vladimir Putin hosting this summer's World Cup with Hitler's 1936 Olympics as an "insult" to the Russian people.
Mr Yakovenko said: "The British government is free to make a decision about its participation in the World Cup but nobody has the right to insult the Russian people who defeated Nazism and lost more than 25 million people by comparing our country to Nazi Germany.
"That goes beyond common sense and we don’t think British war veterans including those of the Arctic convoys would share this opinion."
He added that official statements on the poisoning had been "wild" and the UK had "built its official position on pure assumptions".