UK: Govt. 'avoided' looking into possible Russian interference in Brexit referendum — ISC

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) discussed their findings for the report on alleged Russian interference into UK politics, in London, on Tuesday, and said that the government “actively avoided” looking into possible evidence about Russian interference in the Brexit referendum. “Who is protecting British public from interference in our democratic process? In a nutshell we found no one is. We found the defence of the UK’s democratic process is a ‘hot potato’, no one is prepared to accept their overall lead,” said Kevan Jones, Labour MP and member of the committee. The 50-page report, presented to UK PM Boris Johnson already in October last year, but not released until now, contains details — some confidential — of the alleged Kremlin's attempt to gain influence in the higher echelons of UK politics and to affect the outcome of votes like the 2016 EU election. “The report reveals that no one in government knew if Russia interfered in or sought to influence the referendum because they did not want to know. The UK government have actively avoided looking for evidence that Russia interfered. We were told that they hadn’t seen any evidence, but that is meaningless if they had not looked for it,” declared Scottish National Party MP Stewart Hosie. “There has been no assessment of Russian interference in the EU Referendum and this goes back to nobody wanting to touch this issue with a ten-foot pole. This is in stark contrast to the US response to reports of interference in 2016 presidential elections,” he added. Russia officials have already dismissed the conclusions of the ISC’s report, accusing the UK of “leading role in Russophobia”. Head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia’s Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, called the conclusions “unfounded” and compared them to “conspiracy theories.”
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