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Shock as police reveal Novichok suspects’ passed through Gatwick

At 3pm on Friday, 2 March, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588.

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It has been revealed today that the two suspects connected to the Salisbury attack arrived in the UK via Gatwick airport.

In a Statement by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing, in relation to the Salisbury and Amesbury Investigation, he said:

“It is likely that they were travelling under aliases and that these are not their real names. We would like to hear from anyone who knows them. We are releasing these photographs of them, from the travel documents they used to enter the country.

“We’d also like to hear from anyone who saw them while they were in the UK between Friday, 2 March and Sunday, 4 March. We are particularly interested in establishing as much as possible about their movements during the period 2pm to 4.30pm on Saturday, 3 March, and 11.30am to 2pm on Sunday, 4 March.

“At 3pm on Friday, 2 March, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588.

“From there it is believed that they travelled by train into London, arriving at Victoria station at approximately 5.40pm.

“They then travelled on London public transport to Waterloo station and were in the area between approximately 6pm and 7pm. They travelled to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, East London, where they stayed on Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March.”

Alexander Petrov

Ruslan Boshirov

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said:

“Public Health England has confirmed that there are no health risks for passengers or airport workers at Gatwick related to the journey taken by the individuals involved in this incident.

This includes those passengers and staff who were at the airport on the day of the Aeroflot flight landing or in the subsequent period.

We are of course assisting the police as required.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said on hearing the news:

“UK Government confirmation that the Novichok nerve agent used by Russian agents to try and murder former spy and his daughter, the Skripals, in Salisbury last March, entered the UK via Gatwick is very disturbing.

That fact that my constituents’ who work at the airport could potentially have been exposed to such a deadly agent demonstrates the reckless contempt Putin’s government in Moscow has for ordinary people.

I’m grateful for being informed by the Prime Minister and I’ll be seeking how Crawley Borough Council intend to follow matters up further as local authority responsible for port health in law.”

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury city centre at 4.15pm on Sunday, 4 March, after being poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent.

Both Sergei and Yulia spent weeks critically ill in hospital but are now making a good recovery.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, a Wiltshire police officer, was also seriously ill after being exposed to the nerve agent. He continues to make good progress but remains off work.

Tragically 44-year-old mother of three, Dawn Sturgess died in hospital on Saturday, 8 July. She fell ill on 30 June after being exposed to Novichok and she never regained consciousness. Her partner, 48-year-old Charlie Rowley, was also exposed to the nerve agent and became seriously ill later that day. He received treatment at Salisbury District Hospital over three weeks.

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Former Horsham Council CEO appointed as Chair for GATCOM

New Chair brings substantial experience of chairing committees and similar bodies locally and across the South East.

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New Chair of GATCOM, Tom Crowley.

Tom Crowley – the former Chief Executive of Horsham District Council – has been appointed as the new Chair of Gatwick Airport’s Consultative Committee (GATCOM) – the statutory, independent advisory body and ‘critical friend’ of the airport, it was announced today.

Tom will take up his new role in January 2019 – for a minimum of period of four years – and brings with him substantial experience chairing committees and similar bodies locally and across the South East region. He is also currently Chair of Empty Homes – a national research and campaigning charity – and a Governor of the Chichester College Group.

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Before his appointment as Horsham’s Chief Executive in 2005, Tom held senior management roles at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Arun District Council.

In its 62 year history, the 28-strong committee has maintained an independent and unbiased approach in its overarching objective, which is to ensure the future success of Gatwick Airport, while paying particular regard to the impact it has on the surrounding communities and the environment.

The outgoing Chair – Dr John Godfrey – will leave his role in December 2018 after announcing his retirement after eleven years in post. His achievements during this period have been described by Stewart Wingate – Gatwick’s CEO – as ‘considerable’ and include leading the committee through the sale of the airport by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009.

John also steered GATCOM through major challenges such as the public consultations on a second runway and the airport’s master plan, through the use of and changes to flight paths, the establishment of the Gatwick Noise Management Board and helped to generate support to secure enhanced rail services to the airport.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:

“I congratulate and look forward to working closely with Tom in his new role as Chair. This post is fundamental to the strength of GATCOM and the committee plays a key role advising me and my senior team about issues of concern to our local communities or that impact the local environment.

“I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Dr John Godfrey for dedicating over a decade to the role. I very much value his contribution to GATCOM and his achievements during his tenure have been considerable and have helped shape the direction the airport.”

Dr John Godfrey, outgoing GATCOM Chair, said:

“I join Stewart in congratulating Tom on his appointment and wish him well in his new role. GATCOM acts as a bridge between the airport management and all the various agencies and interests which make up the wider community which the airport serves. Tom’s background and experience equip him to make a major contribution to the important work of the UK’s leading airport consultative committee.”

Tom Crowley, incoming GATCOM Chair, said:

“I am delighted to have been selected for this important position. Having lived and worked locally for almost forty years I am acutely aware of the economic benefits that Gatwick brings but I also appreciate that the airport’s development and operation generates significant environmental impacts.

“GATCOM plays a vital role in representing the interests of those who benefit from and are affected by the airport and it provides an effective forum to promote constructive dialogue with Gatwick’s senior managers.”

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