Boris Johnson accused of ‘sitting on’ report into Russian interference in British democracy
- Credit: PA
Boris Johnson has been accused of sitting on a key report assessing the threat posed by Russia to Britain's democracy.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve argued voters must have access to the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of parliament, which he chairs, given the imminent election.
He said it was "unacceptable" for the prime minister to "sit on it", informing the Commons that Johnson should have confirmed that no classified matters were remaining in the report.
MPs heard the report was sent to the PM on October 17 and Grieve hopes to publish it next week, noting no explanation for the "apparent delay" has been offered.
Parliament is expected to still sit ahead of dissolution although proceedings could be brought to an end sooner, which may prevent publication.
You may also want to watch:
Raising a point of order, Grieve said: "The committee has been investigating the threat posed to this country by Russia.
"We've produced a report which, in accordance with the Justice and Security Act, we sent to the prime minister on October 17 for him to confirm that there were no classified matters remaining - and there ought not to be because it's already been carefully looked at by the Cabinet Office.
- 1 Russell Kane: Why working class people like Boris Johnson
- 2 Boris Johnson proposes saving United Kingdom with 'Project Love' plan
- 3 BBC journalist admits being 'haunted' by fear broadcaster 'built up' Nigel Farage and UKIP
- 4 Welsh government takes Westminster to court over post-Brexit bill
- 5 The only Brexit export boom is from UK businesses rushing to Europe
- 6 Prosecution threat for Tories' co-chairman
- 7 Scientist tells Boris Johnson to cancel India trip over new variant fears
- 8 No plans for EU membership vote in independent Scotland, says Sturgeon
- 9 Brussels insists Northern Ireland Brexit protocol must remain in place
- 10 EU president faces fresh calls to resign over 'disastrous' Covid vaccine programme
"That confirmation should have been received by today to thus enable publication before the house is dissolved.
"But I regret to say that it has not.
"We thus have a committee of parliament waiting to lay a report before this house which comments directly on what has been seen as a perceived threat to our democratic processes.
"Parliament and the public ought to have, and must have, access to this report in light of the forthcoming election and it's really unacceptable for the prime minister to sit on it and deny them that information."
Speaker John Bercow said ministers would have heard the appeal, adding: "I would hope that as the leader of the house is sitting on the frontbench, we might make progress on this matter - it can be expedited, potentially, and the Leader might be willing to act as a messenger and we'll have to see what the result is."
John Bercow said he hoped it would not be necessary for the MP to have to raise the matter again.
Labour MP Barry Sheerman followed the question by asking: "Are they trying to hide something here?"
Boris Johnson's official spokesman said: "There are a number of administrative stages and processes which reports such as this, which often contain sensitive information, have to go through before they are published.
"This usually takes several weeks to complete.
"The committee is well informed of this process."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.