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Hillary Clinton condemns ‘shameful’ delay in Russia interference report release

A report by the Intelligence and Security Committee was sent to the Prime Minister for approval on October 17.

Hillary Clinton (Aaron Chown/PA)
Hillary Clinton (Aaron Chown/PA)

By Jess Glass, PA

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has criticised the delay in the release of a report examining Russian influence in British politics.

The House of Commons was previously told a report by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was sent to the Prime Minister for approval on October 17.

Although there has been no indication of the precise contents of the report, it will assess the threat posed by Moscow to Britain’s democratic processes following an 18-month inquiry into illicit Russian activities in Britain.

The Sunday Times previously claimed nine Russian business people who have donated money to the Conservative Party were named in the dossier.

I find it inexplicable that your Government will not release a Government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful. You're having an election Hillary Clinton

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who has seen the report, has stressed its publication is essential ahead of the General Election, as it contains information “germane” to voters.

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mrs Clinton said the delay was disgraceful given the upcoming election, referencing the proven Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

The former secretary of state said: “I find it inexplicable that your Government will not release a Government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful. You’re having an election.

“People deserve to know what is in that report. We had a somewhat similar problem in 2016.”

A report into Russian interference in the US presidential election in 2016 found illegal interference from Moscow occurred in a “sweeping and systemic fashion”, according to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mrs Clinton stressed the importance of the UK security report being made public before the General Election to allow voters to make informed decisions.

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Dominic Grieve (Liam McBurney/PA)

She continued: “(Donald) Trump and his campaign were under investigation for their connections with Russia, and Russians, and Russian cutouts and Russian agents, and others promoting Russian interests.

“And the public didn’t know before the election. And I would hate to see that happen here. Whatever the outcome.

” don’t know what’s in it, any more than anybody else does. But certainly, people who are about to vote in a month or so deserve to know what is in a report that one has to speculate must have something of concern, otherwise why wouldn’t it be publicly disclosed?”

Mr Grieve, chairman of the ISC, has accused the PM of sitting on the report ahead of the December 12 vote.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and a Downing Street spokesman have said the machinery of government is the reason for the delay in publication.

Mr Shapps said that while he was not close to the report, the delay is “just the usual way that purdah works” and incumbent governments are not allowed to publish anything controversial in the run-up to an election.

PA

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