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Focus on voter ID instead of Russian interference ‘bizarre’, says Lisa Nandy

Prime minister Boris Johnson - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Labour has criticised the Tories for its plans to introduce voter ID – whilst failing to implement any of the recommendations of the Russia report.

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy has challenged the government to focus on preventing foreign interference in elections rather than its existing proposals to make it “so much more difficult” for people to vote in the UK.

Appearing on Sky News, Nandy raised the intelligence and security committee’s report into Russian interference in UK politics, which was published in July 2020.

The 50-page report claimed ministers turned a blind eye to allegations of Russian disruption and said the British government had failed to conduct any proper assessment of Kremlin attempts to interfere with the 2016 Brexit referendum.

She told Sky News: “We have got to defend our democracy robustly but I just think it’s really bizarre coming from this government that they have made it so much more difficult for people in this country to vote over recent years, but they have taken absolutely no action to defend our democracy from attacks overseas.”

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy in a former TV appearance – Credit: Archant

She added: “In today’s Queen’s Speech what I will be looking for is not more action to make it more difficult for people in Britain to vote, but more action to make sure we don’t allow other countries to interfere in our democracy.”

The 18-month old report claimed there was “credible open-source commentary” that Russia undertook “influence campaigns” relating to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

In January 2021 foreign secretary Dominic Raab was unable to give Nandy a single recommendation from the report which had been implemented by the government.

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