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Mon, 28 September 2020

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Boris Johnson finally gives green light for Russian interference report to be published

Boris Johnson finally gives green light for Russian interference report to be published
2 min read

A report into allegations of Russian interference in UK elections has finally been cleared for publication by Boris Johnson.


The Prime Minister came under fire for blocking the report, which was carried out by the Intelligence and Security Committee, before the general election.

It is understood that the ISC took evidence from members of the intelligence services accusing the Kremlin of trying to influence the outcome of the EU referendum in 2016 and the following year's general election.

Their report was handed to Downing Street ahead of the general election, but Mr Johnson did not give the green light for it to be published before the country went to the polls on 12 December.

The PM's spokesman confirmed on Monday that it will be published by the new ISC when it is convened in the New Year.

He said: "The Prime Minister carefully considered the report of the former committee. He is content publication would not prejudice the functions of those bodies which safeguard our national security.

"Publication will be a matter for the new ISC in due course.

"He has looked at the report since it was submitted to him last month and he's satisfied it is clear for publication."

Opposition parties had accused Mr Johnson of attempting to cover up the report in case it damaged the Tories' election candidates.

According to the Sunday Times, the bombshell report names nine major Conservative donors who have handed the party millions and developed personal relationships with Mr Johnson.

The paper claims Alexander Temerko, who formerly worked for the Kremlin's defence ministry, is named after donating more than £1.2m to the party and describing Boris Johnson as a "friend".

Meanwhile, major Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin, wife of former Putin ally Vladimir Chernukhin, is also said to be included in the report.

Ms Chernukin has handed the party over £450,000 in the past 12 months, and famously paid £160,000 during a Conservative fund raising event to play a tennis match with Mr Johnson.

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