UK: Russia election-meddling report delayed until after election

Prime minister's office reportedly blocking publication of report until after next election.

    Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve also chairs the committee which oversees Britain's spy agencies [Simon Dawson/Reuters]
    Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve also chairs the committee which oversees Britain's spy agencies [Simon Dawson/Reuters]

    A controversial report into alleged Russian interference in the United Kingdom's democratic process is unlikely to be published before the general election, it has emerged.

    Dominic Grieve, the chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), has called on Number 10 to clear its report for release before the Parliament of the UK is dissolved on Wednesday.

    However, the prime minister's official spokesman indicated the necessary clearance process has yet to be completed.

    "There are processes reports such as this have to go through before publication. The committee is well-informed of these," the spokesman said.

    The ISC oversees the work of the agencies - MI5, MI6 and GCHQ - and in the course of its work has access to highly sensitive intelligence material.

    Its reports are submitted to the government before publication to ensure no sensitive information is inadvertently made public.

    Grieve, a former attorney general who now sits as an independent after losing the Tory whip, has said the process was normally completed within 10 working days.

    However, this was disputed by government sources who said that it usually took six weeks.

    Grieve has expressed concern that the report - which is reported to have looked into whether Russian interference affected the result of the 2016 European Union referendum - contained information "germane" to voters in the forthcoming election.

    SOURCE: News agencies