The UK government on Thursday (16 July) conceded that Russians almost certainly sought to interfere in the 2019 UK general election through illicitly acquired documents.
In a statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying that “the government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 general election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked government documents”.
The government will finally publish a report on allegations of Russian interference, the publication of which has been repeatedly delayed, next week.
The admission that Russia may have sought to influence the outcome of UK elections – a claim which has also been made about the 2016 referendum where the UK voted to leave the European Union – is significant because hard evidence of manipulation has been in short supply until now. However, at the 2019 election, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives complained that documents used by Labour on US-UK trade negotiations had been illicitly acquired.
(Benjamin Fox, EURACTIV.com)