Hillary Clinton says UK government ‘shameful’ for delaying release of secret Russia report until after election

Hillary Clinton says UK government ‘shameful’ for delaying release of secret Russia report until after election

Hillary Clinton has branded the government’s delay in releasing a report into Russian influence on the 2016 referendum as “inexplicable and shameful”.

The former US presidential candidate and first lady said the public “deserve to know” what is in the report before the country heads to the polls in December.

The report by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was completed in March and sent to the prime minister for approval on 17 October.

However, it has not yet been released by the government, despite ISC chair Dominic Grieve saying it is “germane” to voters.

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live, Ms Clinton said: “I find it inexplicable that your government will not release a government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful.

“People who are about to vote in a month or so deserve to know what is in a report that one has to speculate must have something of concern, otherwise why wouldn’t it be publicly disclosed.”

Ms Clinton drew comparisons with Russia’s proven interference in the US presidential election in 2016, which saw her defeated by now president Donald Trump.

She said: “Trump and his campaign were under investigation for their connections with Russia, and Russians, and Russian cut outs and Russian agents, and others promoting Russian interests.

“The public didn’t know before the election and I would hate to see that happen here.”

The inquiry by the ISC is believed to have looked into claims of Moscow’s attempts to influence the Brexit campaign and Russian money going into UK institutions, including claims that sizeable donations were made to the Conservative Party.

Number 10 says the delay in publication is due to the need for the report to be extensively scrutinised for reasons of national security. 

This means it is unlikely to be published before Tuesday, when parliament rises, and therefore not until after the election on 12 December.

A series of high-level former security and cabinet officials last week told The Independent that the report should be released, while a serving agent said the intelligence and security agencies have no objections to its immediate publication.

The full interview with Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton will air on The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live at 10am on Tuesday.

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