- A cross-party group of Members of Parliament is urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to publish a long-delayed report into Russian interference in UK elections.
- The report was sent to Johnson last October, but he refused to publish it before the general election.
- Eight months on, his UK government is yet to release the report.
- The group of MPs have written to Johnson, warning him that failure to release it “raises serious concerns and questions about the transparency and integrity” of UK democracy.
- The letter, organised by the Liberal Democrats, says it’d be “untenable” for the report to stay confidential.
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Boris Johnson’s failure to publish a long-delayed report into Russian interference is an “affront to democracy,” a cross-party group of Members of Parliament has told the prime minister.
The report was presented to Johnson last October, but was reportedly held back by his government in advance of last year’s general election due to the “embarrassing” links it revealed between the Russian secret service and donors to the Conservative party.
MPs on Tuesday wrote to the UK prime minister to tell him it “is untenable for you to continue to block the publication of the Russia report,” adding that “the situation is an affront to democracy.”
The letter, shared exclusively with Business Insider, tells Johnson “your refusal to allow publication of this crucial document raises serious concerns and questions about the transparency and integrity of our democratic process.”
Organised by the Liberal Democrats and signed by MPs from Labour, the Scottish National Party, and other opposition parties, the letter says Johnson’s failure to publish the report is a “is a matter of urgency.”
The House of Commons’ Intelligence and Security Committee wrote the report and sent it to Johnson in mid-October, former Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, who at the time was chair of the committee, said that month.
Grieve and other MPs called for its publication before the UK went to the polls for the December general election.
Speaking in the House of Commons on October 31, 2019, Grieve said: “The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, of which I am the chair, has been investigating the threat posed to this country by Russia.
“Parliament ought to have and must have access to this report in light of the forthcoming election and it is really unacceptable for the prime minister to sit on it and deny them that information.”
However, Prime Minister Johnson refused their request and said his government would not publish the report until after the election. Eight months on, the UK government is yet to publish it.
A spokesperson for Johnson last week said that the prime minister could not publish the report until the UK Parliament had formed a new Intelligence and Security Committee.
“The report itself has been cleared for publication by the prime minister.
“It awaits the formation of the ISC before they can take a decision on its release,” his spokesperson said.
However, the letter sent to Johnson today states that it is highly-unusual for the committee to not be formed this long after a general…