Intelligence committee hits back at No 10 over Russia report delay claims

PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 21 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in an archive picture. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in an archive picture. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

There was “no reason” for the delay in the publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on Russia, a member of the committee has said.

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Labour MP Kevan Jones told reporters as the report was released that claims by the prime minister it required six weeks to get his confirmation for the report were “categorically not true”.

“As has been widely reported, the prime minister failed to provide his confirmation that this report could be published in the standard ten working days.

“And as a result the House rose for the general election before the report could be published.

“There was no reason for this delay”.


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He also said that claims by Number 10 the report needed to be further circulated for comment in government were “not true”.

“It had already been through the processes”.

Jones added that “everybody who needed to see the report in government had done so, it was now waiting for the prime minister to agree the report which was sent to him on 17th October”.

He said the prime minister “finally provided confirmation the day after the election, having taken a record time in doing so”.

The MP pointed out it took seven months after that date, because the committee had not been formed.

Lisa Nandy MP, shadow foreign secretary, said it was “extraordinary” such a political decision had been taken.

She said: “It is extraordinary that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, took the political decision last October ahead of the general election to block the publication of this important report that systematically goes through the threat Russia poses to the UK’s national security.

“The report is very clear that the government has underestimated the response required to Russia and it is imperative we learn the lessons from the mistakes that have been made.

“The Labour Party calls on the government to study the conclusions of the report carefully and take the necessary steps to keep our country safe.”

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