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Ministers did not do enough to fully probe claims of Russian meddling

UK News

Russia ‘tried to influence 2014 Scottish independence referendum but did not interfere with the Brexit vote’, a report on Moscow’s meddling in UK politics will reveal later today.  

MPs and peers on the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) carried out an investigation into the threats Moscow poses to Britain.

Their delayed report on Russia – to be published today – is expected to say not enough was done in Whitehall to establish what role Russia played in the June 2016 vote on whether the UK should stay in the EU.

It will also question whether Britain has gone far enough in clamping down on the offshore wealth of Russian oligarchs and imposing tough sanctions on those linked to Vladimir Putin.

Boris Johnson has come under criticism for delaying the publication of a report about alleged Russian meddling in the Brexit referendum

Boris Johnson has come under criticism for delaying the publication of a report about alleged Russian meddling in the Brexit referendum

Boris Johnson has come under criticism for delaying the publication of a report about alleged Russian meddling in the Brexit referendum

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) claims Russia tried to influence the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) claims Russia tried to influence the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) claims Russia tried to influence the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Russian attempts to influence the 2014 referendum were ‘the first post-Soviet interference in a Western democratic election’. 

A source claimed the report will criticise the way successive British governments have failed to respond to the way Vladimir Putin has changed his nation’s relations with the West. 

Boris Johnson has come under criticism for delaying the publication of the report after it was cleared for release by spies in October last year.

The 50-page report is the result of an 18-month investigation by the former Intelligence and Security Committee, chaired by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve.  

A Whitehall source who has read the paper said the more ‘interesting’ parts of the findings have been removed for security reasons.

This had apparently added to concerns in Downing Street that the redacted sections would ‘fuel suspicion’ in the weeks leading up to the general election in December last year.

The comprehensive report will outline ways that Moscow has allegedly attempted to interfere in Britain’s affairs.

Sources said the document had ‘no smoking gun’ but it did detail extensive claims of Russian meddling spanning a number of years.

It will point to allegations of involvement from Moscow in 14 suspicious deaths on British soil, a third source confirmed.

Russia may also have meddled in the Scottish independence referendum, according to the report, which follows an 18-month inquiry. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia may also have meddled in the Scottish independence referendum, according to the report, which follows an 18-month inquiry. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia may also have meddled in the Scottish independence referendum, according to the report, which follows an 18-month inquiry. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia may also have meddled in the Scottish independence referendum, according to the report, which follows an 18-month inquiry.

One senior Whitehall source who has read the findings said it raised concerns that not enough was done to investigate Russian interference in the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the explosive Russia-Trump dossier, was among those who gave evidence to the ISC.

In his testimony to the committee, he wrote: ‘My understanding, arising partly from personal experience with the “Trump-Russia dossier”, is that this Government perhaps more than its predecessors is reluctant to see (or act upon) intelligence on Russian activities when this presents difficult wider political implications.

Former MI6 spy Christopher Steele (pictured), who compiled the explosive Russia-Trump dossier, was among those who gave evidence to the ISC

‘Examples of this include reporting on the Kremlin’s likely hold over President Trump and his family/administration and indications of Russian interference in and clandestine funding of the Brexit referendum.’

Dominic Grieve, former chairman of the ISC, said: ‘I’m delighted it is finally coming out, it is nine months later than it should have been and there was no good reason not to publish it in October last year.

‘Now people will have a better understanding on the threat Russia poses and if we are doing enough to counter it.’

Tory MP Dr Julian Lewis sparked a storm last week when he was elected as the new ISC chairman despite attempts by Downing Street to put former cabinet minister Chris Grayling in the post.

DailyMail Online


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