His claims over the Skripal poisoning have handed Putin a propaganda victory. Security service investigations come peppered with caveats

Boris Johnson is not a disaster waiting to happen. He is a disaster that has been repeatedly happening for years now, and the only change is that the disasters have got progressively bigger. He should have been sacked as foreign secretary months ago, when his blundering intervention in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – the charity worker jailed in Iran on spying charges, after what her family has always insisted was a simple visit home to see relatives – gave a hostile regime an excuse to prolong her ordeal.

Having survived that gaffe only because Theresa May was too weak to move him, Johnson should at least have had the grace to learn from it; to grasp that the Foreign Office is not the place for winging it or exaggerating to make a point; that even tiny deviations from the script carry grave consequences when dealing with intelligence-related matters or regimes such as Iran.

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Read More Boris Johnson fails to understand that intelligence means doubt | Gaby Hinsliff

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