Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen 'express outrage' at the death of Alexei Navalny

Rishi Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen 'express outrage' at the death of Alexei Navalny

Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have “expressed their outrage” at the death of Alexei Navalny, agreeing those responsible must be held to account.

The Russian opposition leader’s body was reportedly found bruised in an Arctic morgue, raising fears that he was killed under orders from Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister spoke to President Von Der Leyen on Sunday ahead of the second anniversary of Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister and President Von der Leyen expressed their outrage at the death of Alexei Navalny, and underscored the utmost importance of holding those responsible within the Russian system to account."

A paramedic revealed there were bruises on Navalny’s head and chest when his body was brought into the Salekhard District Clinical Hospital, according to independent media.

The unnamed paramedic told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper: “Such injuries, described by those that saw them, appear from seizures.

“The person convulses, they try to restrain him, and bruises appear. They also said that he also had a bruise on his chest.

“That is, they still tried to resuscitate him, and he died, most likely, from cardiac arrest.”

Investigators told his mother Lyudmila Navalnaya her 47-year-old son had died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, though this cause of death has not been independently verified.

She travelled to the brutal IK-3 Polar Wolf prison in Kharp, Siberia, on Saturday. But she was refused permission to see the body.

No autopsy has been performed on the body, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Two unscheduled flights from Moscow are alleged to have landed at Salekhard on Saturday, possibly with autopsy specialists.

A source told Novaya Gazeta: “The first jet landed at about six in the evening. It was met by cars of the Investigative Committee. And the second one arrived an hour and a half later.”

Meanwhile, Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, published a picture of the couple on Instagram Sunday in her first social media post since her husband's death.

The caption read simply: "I love you."

Hundreds of people in dozens of Russian cities streamed to ad-hoc memorials and monuments to victims of political repressions with flowers and candles on Friday and Saturday to pay tribute to the politician.

In over a dozen cities, police detained 401 people by Saturday night, according to the OVD-Info rights group that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid.

The sudden death of Navalny was a crushing blow to many Russians, who had pinned their hopes for the future on President Vladimir Putin's fiercest foe.

Navalny remained vocal in his unrelenting criticism of the Kremlin even after surviving a nerve agent poisoning and receiving multiple prison terms.

The news reverberated across the globe, with many world leaders blaming the death on Putin and his government.

In an exchange with reporters shortly after leaving a Saturday church service, President Joe Biden reiterated his stance that Putin was ultimately to blame for Navalny's death.

"The fact of the matter is, Putin is responsible. Whether he ordered it, he's responsible for the circumstance," Biden said. "It's a reflection of who he is. It cannot be tolerated."

Last night it was claimed members of Russia's intelligence service visited the site two days before Navalny's death.

FSB officers disconnected and dismantled security cameras and listening devices, according to a report citing a branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

Anti-corruption campaigner Navalny had been transferred to the jail in December, four months after a court sentenced him to 19 years on trumped-up "extremism" and "corruption" charges.