12th November 2019
On 17th October, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee completed its report on interference by the Russian government into British politics.
The report looked into the role of Russian state intelligence during the 2016 Brexit referendum. It also identified a large number of links between Russian state intelligence and the Conservative Party, particularly through funding links between Moscow and the Conservatives. Downing Street have refused to publish the report before the election, to ensure that the British
public are kept in the dark about the Russian links. This decision was described as “jaw-dropping” by the Intelligence and Security Committee Chair.
Yesterday, Hilary Clinton, whose own campaign in 2016 was also attacked by Russian state intelligence, said the suppression of the report was “damaging, inexplicable and shaming”.
During his tenure as MP for the Isle of Wight, Bob Seely has often raised issue in Parliament and elsewhere about the dangers of Russian interference in western politics, and the importance of exposing Russian intelligence activity wherever it takes place.
Today, Labour’s candidate, Richard Quigley, has written to Bob Seely, asking him to insist his party’s leaders publish the report immediately, so that British voters can cast their ballots with full knowledge of where Russian influence and money is being applied.
Letter as follows:
I know you are deeply concerned about the involvement of Russian state intelligence agencies in British politics. You will of course be aware of the completed report of the Intelligence and Security Committee which investigated Russian political interference activity in the UK over the last three years.
The committee heard evidence of strong links between Russia and the Vote Leave campaign in 2016. It also, as you know, heard further evidence of significant funds flowing from Moscow to the Conservative Party via wealthy Russians with connections to Putin.
I know you will be deeply concerned that the evidence of Russian interference in both our politics generally, and your Conservative Party specifically, should be made public as a matter of urgency.
You will agree that citizens should be able to cast their votes on 12th December with full knowledge of the Russian influence you have rightly been warning us all about for the last two years.
I look forward to hearing of your success in ensuring the report’s findings are publicised before the election is held.