July 21, 2020
Report was sent to Downing Street in October last year, in time for publication before the general election
- Full story: Russia report reveals UK government failed to investigate Kremlin interference
- Global coronavirus updates – live
At her lunchtime briefing Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said that, from an initial reading of the ISC report, the UK government seemed to be guilty of negligence. She said:
I do think the main message would be negligence on the part of the UK government in the face of Russian interference …
I would say first that we should not be at any point complacent at the possibility of Russian interference in our democratic processes.
Sir Ed Davey, the acting Lib Dem leader, has accused Boris Johnson of “sticking his head in the sand” on the issue of Russian interference in UK politics. In a statement Davey said:
Boris Johnson refusing to launch an inquiry into Russian election interference is a green light for them to do it in the future. The government have been told by a cross-party group of MPs that we must establish what role Russian interference played in the Brexit referendum in order to protect our democratic process, but still refuse to pursue it.
You cannot hope to deal with interference if you do not even check if it is happening. Rather than sticking his head in the sand, Boris Johnson must ask the intelligence community to launch a wide-ranging and properly funded investigation so that we can understand just what influence Russian interference had on our democracy.