Theresa May earlier issued Russian President Vladimir Putin 24 hours to respond to claims that Russia was “highly likely” behind the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The ultimatum has sparked World War 3 fears as Whitehall sources revealed the Prime Minister could launch a cyber attack on Russia in the wake of recent events.

It is thought Britain might target Kremlin propaganda machines, with Whitehall sources suggesting the UK will up the ante on its offensive cyber programme.

But the Russian embassy in the UK has hit back at the ultimatum and warned Mrs May against “punitive measures”.

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