Boris Johnson accused of 'suppressing' Russia report until after UK election
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire over accusations from lawmakers that the UK government is intentionally delaying the release of a report into Russia's influence in British politics until after the upcoming election. © WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for his second PMQs at the House of Commons since taking office in July on 23 October, 2019 in London, England.
A report on alleged Russian interference in the UK should come out, says the former US presidential candidate. "Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens Facebook: Russian Brexit meddling 'minimal'. Clinton 'wants to hug Meghan over racism'.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blasted a delay in the publication of a report on Johnson has been a key proponent of Brexit over the last four years. Speaking to the BBC U.S. intelligence agencies say that Russia was behind several efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S
LONDON — As a historic impeachment drama plays out in Washington, a political saga with some odd parallels is taking place across the Atlantic.
Britain is in the midst of a divisive national election campaign that is roiled by questions about Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum, with potentially inflammatory implications for the upcoming balloting Dec. 12.
A cross-party British parliamentary committee spent months investigating purported malign actions by Moscow in connection with the June 2016 referendum in which Britons narrowly voted to leave the European Union.
UK's Johnson begins election battle, vowing Brexit and casting rival as "Stalin"
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially kicks off his election campaign on Wednesday with a promise to "get Brexit done" in contrast to his main rival, whom he compared to Soviet leader Josef Stalin. © Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Conservative Party headquarters in London on November 4, 2019. - British MPs will select the new speaker of the House of Commons, once an unremarkable event but one now charged with significance following the previous occupant's role in Brexit.
That there was Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign is now widely accepted – though denied by Donald Trump who describes it as If Russia meddled in the Brexit vote we need to know – before the election . PM accused of cover-up over report on Russian meddling in UK politics.
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goal of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump
With Brexit again the key issue in December’s parliamentary elections, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson triggered an outcry this month when it put off the release of the committee’s wide-ranging Russia report, citing the need for further security vetting.
Then as now, Johnson has been a driving force behind the move for Britain to exit the 28-nation EU. For more than three years, Britain has been consumed by infighting over how and whether to implement the referendum result, and the prime minister is leading his Conservative Party into next month’s vote with promises of a swift Brexit as his rallying cry.
Johnson’s rivals say that before the election, British voters should have an opportunity to learn more about Moscow’s purported role in the 2016 referendum — especially in light of the close outcome in which 52% of voters favored the split and 48% opposed it.
650 seats, 46 million voters: The UK election in numbers
There's just over a month to go until Britain's Dec. 12 election, and the country's political parties are battling over funding promises, policy priorities and Brexit plans. © Provided by The Associated Press Britain's Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson makes a speech at a rally at the Battersea Arts Centre in Lavender Hill, while on the General Election campaign trail in London, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12.
Critics say her tour is election meddling in itself. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has refused to publish an Intelligence and Security Committee report into supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit vote until after next Others saw Clinton serving herself, and reliving 2016 all over again.
12 election as it did in 2016 in the United States or the 2016 referendum on Brexit . The short-fuse nature of the vote — Mr. Johnson won Parliament’s approval to In 2016 , there was evidence that Russia tried to tip the referendum in favor of Britain leaving the European Union. More than 150,000
Moscow has shown itself willing to use the bluntest of blunt force to press its interests on British soil, exemplified by last year’s dispatch of Russian operatives to the quiet English town of Salisbury, where they tried to kill a turncoat spy, Sergei Skripal, with a deadly nerve agent.
American-born British financier William Browder, who has crusaded for vastly tightened international financial oversight of Russian oligarchs and testified in the parliamentary inquiry, said he had expected it would be part of the public record by the time voters were preparing to go to the polls.
“It should have been out a long time ago,” he said of the document.
Browder, in a telephone interview, said entrenched practices such as Russian money laundering via high-end London real estate might have had as much or even more of a distorting effect on British politics than overt acts of interference by the Russian state.
Nigel Farage offers Boris Johnson a truce, boosting prospects for Conservatives in December election
The announcement means that voters who want to leave the European Union won’t have to decide between two candidates.This represents serious breathing room for Johnson, whose campaign launch last week for the Dec. 12 election was marred by insults against victims of a notorious fire, followed by scrambled apologies and muddled messages about the party being out of touch.
messaging or psychological operations—when discussing “ Russian meddling ” in the 2016 US elections . What kind of content did it rely on? Who or what was it targeting, and what did it aim to achieve? Consistent exposure over a period of time has a complex impact on a person’s cognitive
General election 2019: Will this be a Brexit election ? Brexit : All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU. A really simple guide to the The previous chancellor, Philip Hammond, had made available £4.2bn for Brexit preparations from mid- 2016 , including recruiting more civil service staff.
“Oligarchs who are enriched by Putin pay money to former security service officials, to lawyers in Britain, to members of the political establishment, who then effectively do Russia’s bidding for them here,” he said.
Withholding of the 50-page dossier has brought withering criticism from Dominic Grieve, a former attorney general who chaired Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, which put together the report. As Parliament prepared to dissolve this month without the findings having made their way into the public domain, Grieve called the delay “jaw-dropping.”
Some observers caution that the report might not actually contain any bombshells on Moscow’s efforts to steer the voting on Brexit, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin has actively sought to undermine the EU. Moscow considers the bloc a threat to its interests and has cultivated allies such as Hungary’s strongman leader Viktor Orban to pursue measures critics say are designed to undermine the EU from within.
Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow with the Russia and Eurasia program at the British think tank Chatham House, said that in part because the parliamentary committee took testimony from many witnesses whose views were sometimes divergent, the document could prove a “huge disappointment” for those hoping for a damningly definitive account of Russian meddling.
Brexit donor Arron Banks tells Farage to stand down in Labour marginal seats
Arron Banks, one of the biggest financiers behind the Brexit campaign, said Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage should stand down candidates in opposition Labour marginal seats to secure Britain's exit from the European Union. © Reuters/HANNAH MCKAY Arron Banks and anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray are seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London Banks told Reuters that Brexit was under threat and that the only way to secure it was by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson winning a majority in the Dec. 12 election. On Monday, Farage said he would stand down candidates in 317 Conservative seats.
Accusations delay is politically motivated. Clinton was more measured, but her message was clear, "every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report "There’s a lot of evidence that Russia played in the Brexit election ." The second suspicion is that the report contains allegations of
as Brexit — just as the Kremlin was aggressively exploiting Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to try to influence the American presidential election . nearly 3,000 Twitter accounts previously linked to Russia by the company’s disclosures in Washington or by news reports and academic researchers.
British news reports have offered up details of some of the purported Russian transgressions, describing the flow of “dark” funding to the pro-Brexit side of the referendum campaign. They have also documented cyber interference similar to that which took place in 2016 in the United States, where intelligence agencies concluded that Russia acted in an effort to aid then-candidate Donald Trump.
In Washington, Trump’s backers are now seeking to discredit the finding of Russian interference in 2016 and instead cast blame on Ukraine, using the public impeachment hearings that began Wednesday to air elaborate conspiracy theories meant to prop up that view.
Out on the campaign trail, Johnson has taken some heat over the withholding of the report, although many voters are more vocally angry about local issues such as the government’s slowness in aiding areas hit by record flooding. Still, a steady drumbeat of demands from rivals and critics has left his government on the defensive, and nearly a quarter-million people have signed a petition demanding the report’s release.
Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential contender who sounded repeated warnings in 2016 about her then-opponent Trump’s deference to Putin, has also weighed in on the subject. Visiting London on a book tour, she said it was “outrageous” that British voters were not being allowed to weigh the parliamentary committee’s conclusions before December’s balloting.
Why President Trump Is Playing a Surprising Role In Britain's Upcoming Election
Why President Trump Is Playing a Surprising Role In Britain's Upcoming ElectionBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who currently leads a minority government which has struggled to pass crucial Brexit laws, is seeking a greater mandate to “get Brexit done.” If he returns as Prime Minister, he will also be tasked with securing a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S.
British Government Delays Report on Russian Interference in Brexit Vote Until After Election . On July 3, 2018, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a bipartisan report which asserted that the intelligence community’s findings on Russian meddling were fairly and professionally done
Britain has accused Russia of meddling in the domestic politics and elections of several Western countries, including the U.S. presidential election . Grieve, who was expelled from the parliamentary group of Johnson’s Conservatives for defying him over Brexit , said the report was sent to the prime
“Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” she told the BBC.
Britain’s Electoral Commission, which serves as a watchdog over campaigns and voting, said that whatever the makeup of the new government that emerges from the elections, it should work to tighten election law and security practices to stave off electoral influence by foreign powers, Russia included.
Johnson’s government, meanwhile, continues to defend the delay. Cabinet minister Rishi Sunak told Britain’s ITV this week that the postponement of the report’s release was “absolutely normal,” necessitated by security vetting to make sure there were no “bits that need to be redacted.”
But intelligence and security agencies signed off on the report Oct. 17, and British news reports said approval by the prime minister’s office would have been expected to follow suit by month’s end.
The government of Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, said in 2017 there was no direct evidence of Russian wrongdoing in connection with the Brexit vote a year earlier. At the time, Johnson, who was serving as foreign minister in May’s government, was characteristically unable to resist a jokey response when he was asked whether he knew of any proof of meddling by Moscow.
“Nyet,” he replied.
©2019 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at
Justice Department watchdog to release report on Russia probe origins December 9 .
The Justice Department's inspector general said he expects to release the report in early December, "barring unforeseen circumstances."In a letter sent on Thursday to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he expected his office to be able to release the report on December 9 "barring unforseen circumstances.