RUSSIA RETALIATES: 23 United Kingdom diplomats EXPELLED from country as diplomatic war escalates

Theresa May has said that Britain is considering its "next steps" in the wake of 23 British diplomats being expelled from Russian Federation.

Apart from the expected tit-for-tat expulsions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it is stopping all British Council activities "due to legal irregularities" and revoking its agreement for Britain to operate a consulate-general in St Petersburg.

The Russian foreign ministry said the United Kingdom staff would be expelled from Moscow within a week in response to Britain's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats.

She warned that Britain "will never tolerate a threat to the life of British citizens and others on British soil from the Russian government".

In response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy, UK Prime Minister Theresa May this week said there's no doubt Russia is guilty of attempted murder.

But Mr Skripal, 66, the Russian ex-spy who was the target of the attack, and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain critical but stable in hospital.

Russian Federation announced the expulsion of 23 United Kingdom diplomats on Saturday and informed them they would have a week to leave the country. The PM wanted the Kremlin to explain whether it was behind the nerve agent attack.

On Saturday, the Russian foreign ministry tweeted an RT interview with Alexander Shulgin, Russia's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in which he suggested British authorities were "afraid".

"Our position regarding the election of the Russian president in the annexed Crimea is as follows: these elections are illegal, unfair and we will not assist Russia in holding elections in our territory".

"In light of Russia's previous behaviour, we anticipated a response of this kind and the National Security Council will meet early next week to consider next steps".

The Russian dissident died of Polonium radiation poisoning in London in 2006 in an attack that Britain also blamed on Russia.

British police said Friday 131 people were exposed to trace amounts of the military-grade nerve agent, Novichok, used in the assault.

She said: "Many Russians have made this country their home". Russia is also investigating the mysterious death of a Russian businessman who lived in London.

Russia's response was more robust than expected.

"The Prime Minister set out a number of measures which we took to defend ourselves against this type of attack". And naturally Johnson demonstrated his outrage at Russia's politics.

The father-daughter are still critically ill. "There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening", Johnson said on Friday.