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Home Secretary refuses to comment on BAE Glascoed explosion

James Cleverly pictured at the Three Salmons Hotel in Usk, during the 2024 general election campaign (Pic: LDRS)

HOME Secretary James Cleverly has said he will not comment on speculation around an unexplained explosion at a Gwent bomb factory. 

The BAE Systems plant at Glascoed was rocked by an explosion, which local residents reported as causing the ground to shake, on April 17. 

In May the Financial Times reported European intelligence agencies have warned Russia is plotting violent acts of sabotage across the continent and elsewhere. 

It reported: “Questions have been raised, for instance, over a so-far unexplained explosion at BAE Systems’ munitions factory in Wales that supplies shells used by Ukraine.” 

Mr Cleverly on a general election campaign visit to Usk – the closest town to the factory that dates back to the build up to the Second World War – was asked what credibility he gave to speculation Russia or Russian interests could be linked to the explosion. 

The Home Secretary who has responsibility for national security and oversight of Britain’s intelligence services, said while he wouldn’t comment on the explosion he said the UK is a target for “hostile states”. 

He said: “I’m not going to speculate about that particular incident.  

“The general point is that we know the UK is being targeted by hostile states. I’m sure your readers will understand that I’m not going to go into details about UK security but we know that we are targeted. 

“We know that we are a country Putin hates because of our relentless support for Ukraine in its self-defence, we do have very robust arrangements to protect ourselves against state aggression from wherever it might come.” 

He added: “These are general points but I’m not going to speak about specific incidents. I’m certainly not going to comment on speculation which I know is a little bit disappointing but obviously you’ll understand why.” 

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No-one was injured in the explosion and at the time Monmouth MP David Davies said: “I understand it was an explosion that happened in a remote part of the site that had been set aside to take apart shells and this was being done by remote control.”