Cumbria's police union chief says the Salisbury nerve agent attack is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by emergency staff.

Martin Plummer added officers put themselves in harm's way all the time - as a police officer injured responding to the incident remained in hospital.

The head of Cumbria Police Federation was speaking as investigations continued into the case.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey rushed to the aid of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who had been struck down by a toxic substance.

Wiltshire Police temporary Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said the officer was in a "serious, but stable, condition" and had since regained consciousness.

Counter-terror police are trying to pin down the source of the chemical weapon used against the 66-year-old ex-spy and his daughter, 33.

Mr Plummer said: "Nobody would expect when you get called to a person who has collapsed to be dealing with something of that nature.

"Also, there is the example of the terrorist attacks on Westminster Bridge in London.

"Police officers in that case were running towards danger - because it is what we do."

Mr Plummer also raised the example of the work carried out by all the emergency services during the recent snow chaos that cut off parts of the county, adding police came into work on days off to help.

There are plans to recruit another 25 officers to Cumbria Police following a rise in the police part of council tax.

But overall officer numbers have dropped by about 150 - to roughly 1,120 - since 2009.

On the Salisbury incident, Mr Plummer said: "This was another example of officers putting themselves on a daily basis in harm's way.

"Therefore is it fair to be constantly eroding the resources and staff numbers, making the job that we do even harder?

"In the last decade the Government has trimmed us as an organisation.

"But whether it's floods or snow or terrorist attacks or pile ups on the motorway, who do the public ring? Who are there first? It's the police.

"All we would respectfully request is support from the Government by way of increasing resources, financial input and increased officer and staff numbers - not further cuts and reduced financial remuneration."

A former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has urged ministers to reverse their "anti-police agenda" following the incident.

Liberal Democrat Lord Paddick praised the response of the police and emergency services in dealing with the use of a nerve agent in the attack.

But he criticised the Government's treatment of the police, saying: "The Government appear, in the eyes of operational police officers, to be treating the police service with contempt - freezing their salaries, cutting their pensions and reducing police budgets in real terms."

He challenged Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford to tell the Lords: "When is the Government going to reverse its anti-police agenda?"

Lady Williams, who had repeated the Home Secretary's statement on the incident, also paid tribute to the police and emergency services.

She said ministers had the "highest regard" for the police and defended the police budget for this year, saying it gave the service sufficient officers to do the job.

DS Bailey, meanwhile, was praised as "well liked, well loved, a massively dedicated officer" as he continued to recover from the attack.

He joined the force in 2002 and was commended in 2016 for his work on a rape investigation.

Police said a total of 21 people had been seen for medical treatment in the aftermath of the incident.

The figure includes members of the public and emergency staff, some of whom have had blood tests as well as receiving support and advice.

Nerve agents, which are chemical weapons, have been used in assassinations and attacks in war zones in recent years.

Kim Jong Un's half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed at an international airport in Malaysia last year in an attack using a nerve agent known as VX.

Another well-known nerve agent, sarin gas, killed more than 90 people in a rebel-held area in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, drawing international condemnation of the Bashar Assad regime.

Russia has denied responsibility for the attack, which comes seven years after Mr Skripal was released from the country as part of a spy swap with the US.