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School of Politics and International Relations

UK intelligence report on Russian interference


The committee investigating Russian interference in British politics has said that for too long, these kinds of issues have been spread out across different governmental departments, not being controlled by the intelligence agencies themselves. The committee said that this lack of focus and lack of robust action taken by the UK has contributed to Russia being able to use its own interference processes. Dr Patrick Diamond, from Queen Mary University of London, said the UK has been ill-prepared to deal with Russian interference. He said: "The report itself doesn't really contain a smoking gun in terms of highlighting incompetence or nefarious practice on the part of any particular individual or agency. It really highlights [...] systemic issues which are to do with the fact that the British government, the British intelligence services, and, more widely, the British system of democracy, has not proven to be very resilient in terms of protecting itself against threats posed by potential Russian interference. The report does particularly highlight deficiencies around the intelligence services. It argues that the intelligence services should have been much more proactive in investigating potential Russian interference, particularly in the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign."

Clip available on request



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