Hillary Clinton blasts Boris Johnson over ‘inexplicable’ block on Russian interference report

Posted On: 
11th November 2019

Hillary Clinton has condemned Boris Johnson’s “inexplicable” decision to block the release of a report into Russian interference in UK elections.

Boris Johnson with Hillary Clinton in 2015, when he was Mayor of London
PA Images

The former US Secretary of State said it was "shaming" that Downing Street had decided to keep details of the Intelligence and Security Committee's probe under wraps until after the elections.

The ISC took evidence on claims that the Kremlin tried to influence the outcome of the EU referendum in 2016 as well as the following year's general election.

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While it has been been approved for release by the intelligence agencies, Number 10 has insisted it is not ready to be published.

Committee chair Dominic Grieve branded the Government’s reasons for holding back the findings as “plainly bogus”, while Labour said it was “politically motivated”.

Ms Clinton – who is widely thought to have been hampered in her presidential bid with Donald Trump by Russian interference – suggested the UK move was linked to an authoritarian turn in western leaders.

She told the Guardian: “I mean, who do they think they are that they would keep information like that from the public, especially before an election?

“Well, I’ll tell you who they think they are. They think that they are the all-powerful, strong men who should be ruling."

She added that it was “incredibly surprising and unacceptable that in your country there is a government report sitting there about Russian influence and your current government isn’t releasing it”.

According to the Sunday Times, the ISC report names nine major Tory donors who have handed the party millions and developed personal relationships with the Prime Minister.

A Downing Street spokesperson said on Monday: “The ISC report must be laid before Parliament. As Parliament has been dissolved for the forthcoming election, the report cannot be laid until the new Parliament is established.

“There is a proper process that these reports go through. The ISC is aware of that and that process hadn’t completed by the time Parliament had dissolved.”