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Sun Mar 15, 2020, 09:06 AM

UK ministers will no longer claim 'no successful examples' of Russian interference

Source: The Guardian

UK ministers will no longer claim 'no successful examples' of Russian interference

Change of official line is first admission that Kremlin may have distorted UK elections

Dan Sabbagh
Sun 15 Mar 2020 12.00 GMT
Last modified on Sun 15 Mar 2020 12.04 GMT

Ministers have been told they can no longer say there have been “no successful examples” of Russian disinformation affecting UK elections, after the apparent hacking of an NHS dossier seized on by Labour during the last campaign.

The dropping of the old line is the first official admission of the impact of Kremlin efforts to distort Britain’s political processes, and comes after three years of the government’s refusal to engage publicly with the threat.

Cabinet Office sources confirmed that the position been quietly changed while an investigation into the alleged hacking of the 451-page cache of emails from a special adviser’s personal email account by the security services concludes.

Boris Johnson and his predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May, have both appeared reluctant to discuss Kremlin disinformation, with Johnson refusing to allow a report on Russian infiltration in the UK to be published before the election.

Versions of the “no successful examples” statement were regularly deployed in response to allegations of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, to the frustration of MPs who believed a full investigation was necessary.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/15/uk-ministers-will-no-longer-claim-no-successful-examples-of-russian-interference

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