Hillary Clinton: PM's decision to withhold report on Russian election meddling is 'shameful'
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to withhold a report on Russian meddling in UK politics is “shameful”.
The BBC said the report “includes allegations of espionage, subversion and interference in elections.”
“It contains evidence from U.K. intelligence services such as GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 concerning covert Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election,” the BBC said.
The report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has been cleared by the security services but it has not yet been given approval for publication by Johnson’s government, so it will not be published before the general elections on 12 December.
“I find it inexplicable that your government will not release a government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful,” Clinton told the BBC on Tuesday.
“Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens. There is no doubt - we know it in our country, we have seen it in Europe, we have seen it here - that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies,” Clinton said.
Russia has been accused of meddling in different political contests in Western countries including the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow has repeatedly denied any meddling.
Johnson’s government said the delay in the publication of the report was only the result of normal procedures: “There is a proper process that these reports go through. The ISC are aware of that,” Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday. “That process hadn’t completed by the time that parliament was dissolved.”
According to Reuters, the opposition Labour Party said that not releasing the report was an attempt to withhold the truth from the public and that both Johnson and his most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, have links to Russia.
On Tuesday, the opposition Labour party also said that it had been subjected to a “sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack” on its digital platforms and the BBC quoted one unnamed Labour source as saying it had detected “tens of millions of attacks — mostly originating from Russia and Brazil.”