“This latest Novichok attack just goes to confirm my theory that the Russian connection was just a red herring,” declares top conspiracy theorist Richard Plack, commenting on the recent incident which has seen two more Wiltshire residents poisoned with the nerve agent, one fatally. “It’s quite obvious that the UK government is being held to ransom by an international crime syndicate, like SPECTRE – they failed to pay up after the first attack and thought that they had got away with it, but the perpetrators have now decided to call their bluff!” Plack, whose self published volume Murder Most Regal is considered the definitive work on the assassination of the Queen Mother, believes the choice of victims, so far, has been significant. “The first targets, former Russian spy turned defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter, were clearly chosen to send the message that even closely guarded intelligence assets could be got at,” he opines. “But the latest victims were clearly chosen to prove that nobody id safe – they are quite prepared to attack ordinary people if the government doesn’t accede to their demands!”

The government, Plack clims, is currently in a state of panic. “They know they’ve dropped the ball on this one – they’ve been too busy squabbling over Brexit to pay proper attention to the Novichok situation,” says the conspiracy theorist, who is claiming that the recent emergency Chequers cabinet summit was actually to address the Novichok crisis rather than Brexit. “Obviously, they had to say it was about Brexit to avoid public panic, but it was an attempt to come up with a response to the latest attack. Ultimately, both David Davis and Boris Johnson had to resign as they were the ones who had convinced the Prime Minister to try and brazen it out after the first attack – typical Brexit chancers.” Fellow conspiracy theorist and former MI5 officer turned transvestite messiah David Shagler has chimed into the debate, claiming that his contacts in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) have told him that the organisation is on a high state of alert following the latest nerve agent incident. “Right after the Chequers meeting, M was on the intercom to Moneypenny, telling to recall every double O agent in Europe,” he says. “Which, obviously, was a cue for lots of middle aged men dinner jackets to have fights on planes with guys with metal teeth, before jumping out without a parachute.”

Despite being dismissed by the mainstream media as fantasists, some commentators believe that their claims of the UK being held to ransom over the Novichok attacks might have some merit. “That whole Russian connection never made much sense,” admits Trevor Crackpott, Political Editor of the Daily Norks. “Russia just seemed to be politically convenient scapegoat for the government to blame – it gave them an apparently legitimate reason for demonising Putin. I don’t think that it is beyond reason that the real culprits might be an international crime syndicate or terrorist cabal.” Long an admirer of the former Foreign Secretary, Crackpott believes it unlikely that Boris Johnson was instrumental in persuading the Prime Minister not to pay off the mystery poisoners in the first instance. “If they were asking for money, then my bet would have been on the Chancellor Philip Hammond blocking any payment, with his usual claims that the economy couldn’t afford it and that we need to be fiscally cautious,” he muses. “He was probably secretly hoping that there would be further attacks, so that the ‘remoaner’ bastard could blame it on Brexit, falsely claiming that the spectre of leaving the EU had left the UK too economically weak to pay any ransom.”

Indeed, Crackpott suspects that the whole thing could be some kind of anti-Brexit plot, an extension of the so called ‘Project Fear’, allegedly deployed by Remainers during the 2016 EU referendum campaign. “Those unscrupulous bastards will do anything to try and steal our Brexit away from us,” he says. “Even poison British citizens it seems – for all we know the ransom they are asking for is the abandonment of Brexit!” Rival political correspondent Morgan Pearce of The Shite, however, disagrees. “If you ask me, I think it far likelier that this is actually a plot by the pro-Brexit extreme right wingers attempting to blackmail the government into a ‘hard Brexit’,” he claims. “These crazies are so obsessed with fulfilling the supposed ‘will of the people’ over Brexit that they will do just about anything to achieve it.” Pearce even suggests that the scheme has been masterminded by some of the top Tory Brexit ‘rebels. “If they ever unmask the evil genius behind this SPECTRE-style plot, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that ‘Blofeld’ is actually Boris Johnson,” he speculates. “Except, of course, that then he wouldn’t be an ‘evil genius’, just an egotistical buffoon obsessed with becoming Prime Minister at any cost.”

This could, Pearce believes explain Johnson’s abrupt exit from the Cabinet. “He knows the game is up now that Theresa May has faced him down at Chequers,” the journalist muses. “He’s undoubtedly preparing to flee the country in a mini-submarine, or something, and retreat to his secret hideout in a volcano, or someone’s shed.” If the Novichok poisonings really are part of a Breixteer plot, Pearce believes that it would answer one of the key mysteries underlying the attacks: why have they both occurred in one part of South Wiltshire, in two towns within ten miles of each other? “It seems obvious that the actual poisoner working on their behalf lives in the area and probably obtained the nerve agent from nearby Porton Down,” he says. “But like all these ‘Little Englander’ types, he doesn’t like to travel too far from home and risk meeting anyone different or encountering other cultures, so he sticks to local victims.” The government has so far refused to comment on any of these allegations, other than to re-iterate its official line that responsibility for the attacks lies with the Russian government. However, when pressed for concrete evidence of this, they were unable to provide any.