Texan power-rock trio, ZZ Top, has finally broken its silence over the Sergei Skripal affair denying it had any involvement in the nerve agent attack whatsoever.

Guitarist and front man Billy Gibbons said: ‘We are breaking our silence because we are concerned about our reputation being trashed in public. So let me state categorically that ZZ Top don’t know a goddamn thing about nerve agents, not unless LSD is one, and we have never been to Salisbury, wherever the hell that is, so we could not be involved.’

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is not convinced. ‘These ZZ Pops chaps look a they’re a bunch of rather rum coves to me. I mean those beards look very suspect, and as we know fellows with beards are up to all sorts of nefarious shenanigans these days. Why good Lord, we once had a lecturer when I was up at Balliol who had a very long beard and he turned out to be a rampant Trotskyite. We had to debag him in front of the Dean. Shocking business altogether, so just goes to show that you never know, do you, eh?’