Downing Street has been accused of sitting on an explosive parliamentary report on the security threat posed by Russia to the UK, which examined allegations that Kremlin-sponsored activity distorted the result of the 2016 EU referendum.
The cross-party intelligence and security committee said it had expected Boris Johnson to approve publication of the 50-page dossier by Thursday – and there was now a risk its publication would be prevented before the general election.
Dominic Grieve, who chairs the committee, complained in the Commons that no explanation for the “apparent delay” had been given by Downing Street, which had been sent a final draft of the report on 17 October.
If Downing Street fails to approve the report before parliament is dissolved on Tuesday, it will not be possible to publish it before the election on 12 December, even though Grieve told MPs it “comments directly on what has been seen as a perceived threat to our democratic processes”.
It is understood that the dossier examines allegations that Russian money has flowed into British politics in general and the Conservative party in particular. It also features claims that Russia launched a major influence operation in 2016 in support of Brexit.
One of those targeted by the Russians at the time was Arron Banks, Nigel Farage’s financial backer. The Briton was offered the chance to invest in a gold deal by Russia’s ambassador to the UK but he ultimately declined. Banks has consistently said that he did not take any money from Russia. Read more