Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that it was “shameful” that the UK government had not published a delayed parliamentary report into possible Russian interference in British ahead of December elections.
Earlier, UK PM Boris Johnson’s government had rejected the claims it was suppressing the report to avoid a scandal ahead of next month’s snap poll.
“I find it inexplicable that your government will not release a government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful,” Clinton told the BBC in remarks reported.
“There is no doubt – we know it in our country, we have seen it in Europe, we have seen it here – that Russia, in particular, is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies,” Clinton said.
Britain has accused Russia of meddling in the domestic politics and elections of several Western countries, including the US presidential election.
Moscow has been accused of spearheading sophisticated disinformation campaigns around the world to further its interests.
The Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the work of the country’s intelligence agencies, submits its reports to the government before publication to avoid the inadvertent release of sensitive information.
Jonathan Evans, head of MI5 from 2007 to 2013 had called on the government to explain the delay.
Foreign Office minister Chris Pincher has previously said that the report is going through “an intensive security review”.
Earlier in the month, During UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) conference in London, experts had warned the UK that they might face huge challenges in external trade talks even if it could take control of the trade policy after Brexit.
Last month, the UK government had announced that they will hold general elections on December 12 in which Britons will decide the composition of the government that will be tasked with steering the country through the tortuous “Brexit” process of withdrawing from the European Union.
The European Union had granted an extension to the UK’s membership of the trading bloc, Britain and Northern Ireland had been aiming to leave on October 31 but with Parliament unable to agree on the terms of the departure, Johnson was legally forced to ask for another extension.