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UK Parliamentarians Demand Inquiry Into Russia Election Interference

October 29th, 2020 12:35

UK media is report­ing that a group of UK par­lia­men­tar­i­ans has tak­en legal demand­ing an inde­pen­dent inquiry into Rus­sia inter­fer­ence with UK democ­ra­cy. Accord­ing to a BBC report:

A recent report called inter­fer­ence by Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s gov­ern­ment “the new nor­mal” A group of MPs and peers has filed legal pro­ceed­ings against the gov­ern­ment for fail­ing to “pro­tect” UK democ­ra­cy from Russ­ian inter­fer­ence. They want judges to demand an inde­pen­dent inquiry, fol­low­ing claims relat­ing to the 2016 EU ref­er­en­dum and the 2014 Scot­tish inde­pen­dence vote. They argue votes must be held under con­di­tions ensur­ing free expres­sion, under Europe’s human rights con­ven­tion. But the gov­ern­ment said it had “robust sys­tems” to deal with hos­tile states. It added that it was bring­ing for­ward leg­is­la­tion to deal with activ­i­ties car­ried out by them. UK ‘bad­ly under­es­ti­mat­ed’ Russ­ian threat Rus­sians sought to med­dle in UK elec­tion – Raab In July, a report by Par­lia­men­t’s Intel­li­gence and Secu­ri­ty Com­mit­tee (ISC) said the UK gov­ern­ment had not looked for evi­dence of whether Rus­sia had inter­fered in the 2016 EU ref­er­en­dum. It called such actions by Moscow the “new nor­mal”, adding that min­is­ters were “play­ing catch-up” and need­ed to take “imme­di­ate action”. This sum­mer’s Rus­sia Report was expect­ed to answer the ques­tion over whether Rus­sia inter­fered in polit­i­cal life. But instead it raised more ques­tions lead­ing to this lat­est salvo.

Read the rest here.

In July, foreignpolicy.com char­ac­ter­ized the report on Russ­ian inter­fer­ence as follows:

The 47-page, high­ly read­able report, which has been shelved for over a year, offers a damn­ing assess­ment of the U.K. government’s fail­ure to exam­ine Russ­ian attempts to influ­ence the course of the Brex­it vote and describes Russ­ian inter­fer­ence in the coun­try as “the new normal.”

In Sep­tem­ber, Reuters report­ed that accord­ing to Face­book, a Russ­ian influ­ence oper­a­tion posed as an inde­pen­dent news out­let to tar­get left-wing vot­ers in the Unit­ed States and Britain, includ­ing by recruit­ing free­lance jour­nal­ists to write about domes­tic politics.

The GIOR has been report­ing exten­sive­ly on Russ­ian influ­ence operations.