Government anger erupts over 'leaks' from Intelligence and Security Committee's Russia probe

Posted On: 
4th November 2019

Senior government officials are furious at "leaks" from the top-secret Intelligence and Security Committee, it has emerged.

Vladimir Putin has been accused of interfering in western democracy.
PA Images

They hit out after details emerged of the committee's investigation into allegations of Russian interference in UK democracy.

According to the BBC, 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.

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Buzzfeed also reported the committee's report on the matter had found no evidence that Moscow had managed to interfere in the outcome of either poll.

A senior government source said: "ISC's are not supposed to leak, but this one has in a very selective way. There is genuine concern about this."

Committee chair Dominic Grieve has also accused Downing Street of sitting on the report, which was submitted to the Government last month.

Speaking to the BBC last week, he said: "I cannot think of a reason why he should wish to prevent this report being published. It’s very demoralising for us when we find we put in months of work and at the end of it, we’re not getting an adequate response..

"It seems to us that this report is germane because we do know – and I think it is widely accepted – that the Russians have sought to interfere in other countries’ democratic processes in the past."

It is understood that the report, and the Government's response will not be made public before Parliament dissolves for the election on Tuesday night.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "There are processes reports such as this have to go through before publication and the committee is well informed of these."