General election 2019: Boris Johnson 'sat' on report about Russian threat to UK poll

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Boris Johnson has been accused of sitting on a key report assessing the threat posed by Russia to Britain's democratic processes.


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 an election has been called for 12 December.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is accused of sitting on the report

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is accused of sitting on the report

He said it was "unacceptable" for the Prime Minister to "sit on it", informing the Commons that Mr Johnson should have confirmed today that no classified matters were remaining in the report.

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MPs heard the report was sent to the PM on 17 October and Mr Grieve hopes to publish it on Monday, noting no explanation for the "apparent delay" has been offered.

Parliament is expected to sit on Monday and Tuesday ahead of dissolution although proceedings could be brought to an end sooner, which may prevent publication.

Former prime minister Theresa May shakes hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this year

Former prime minister Theresa May shakes hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this year

Raising a point of order, Independent MP Mr Grieve said: "The committee has been investigating the threat posed to this country by Russia.

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"We've produced a report which, in accordance with the Justice and Security Act, we sent to the Prime Minister on 17 October 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.

"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 (Jacob Rees-Mogg) 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."

Mr Bercow said he hoped it would not be necessary for Mr Grieve to have to raise the matter again.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield), referring to the Government, asked: "Are they trying to hide something here?"