Boris Johnson was on Monday night accused of presiding over a cover-up after it emerged that No 10 refused to clear the publication of a potentially incendiary report examining Russian infiltration in British politics, including the Conservative party, The Guardian Reported:
Downing Street indicated on Monday that it would not allow a 50-page dossier from the intelligence and security committee to be published before the election, prompting a string of complaints over its suppression.
According to Independent, the investigation, by a powerful committee of MPs, concluded two weeks ago – but Downing Street has refused to [publish] it before the general election.
It was launched after the revelation that Russia-based Twitter accounts posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in just 48 hours during the 2016 referendum, Independent also stated.
On Tuesday, opposition lawmakers took Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to task for an alleged delay in the publication of the report, which is titled “Russia” and includes evidence from British intelligence agencies about alleged Russian interference in British elections and other possible threats, Washington Post reported:
Some media outlets have suggested that rather than presenting a damning picture of Kremlin meddling in the Brexit vote, the report tamps down speculation. Citing two sources, BuzzFeed News reported last week that the report found no evidence that Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum or the 2017 general election.
However, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko has said Boris Johnson should not have suppressed the parliamentary report on Russian interference in British politics, saying the delay helps the Kremlin and feeds suspicions of a cynical government “cover-up”, The Guardian noted:
Marina Litvinenko said the prime minister was in danger of making the same “mistake” as Theresa May, who as home secretary refused to hold a public inquiry into her husband’s murder in 2006 by polonium poisoning in central London.
“I’m very disappointed. We saw the same thing in my husband’s case,” she said, as the deadline passed for clearing the keenly awaited intelligence and security committee (ISC) report on Russia for publication before the general election.