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Number 10 denies Russian interference in suppression of Russian interference report

Vladimir Putin

Downing Street has denied claims that Vladimir Putin requested the suppression of a report on alleged Russian interference in UK democracy until after the 2019 general election.

The report, compiled by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, examines Russian activity including allegations of espionage, interference in elections, and sending muffin baskets to MEPs.

Finalised in March, the document, which contains evidence of covert Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum, was referred to Downing Street on 17 October but has not been seen since.

Foreign office spokesman, Sir George Fishlove-Smyth, admitted that Vladimir Putin had personally provided several corrections and suggestions to an early draft but denied suppressing the report on orders from Moscow.

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“We are not entirely sure how Mr Putin came into possession of the first draft, but we thank him for his input and in particular reminding the prime minister of his Gmail password. 

“However, the delayed publication and eventual burial of this report, which could well call into question the result of the Brexit referendum, is entirely the government’s own decision.”

Detection of Vladimir Putin’s attempts to influence the 2017 general election required the combined expertise of top UK intelligence services such as GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. 

Somewhat less covert attempts by Donald Trump to influence the 2019 general election have also been detected by listeners of Nigel Farage’s popular LBC radio show.

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