Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Russia was a “top national security priority” and the UK was prepared to “call out” Moscow over issues such as cyber attacks.

At a press conference alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mr Raab said: “We are not for a second complacent about the threat Russia poses when it comes to cyber.”

In a written statement last week Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was “almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere” through the “online amplification” of leaked documents about UK-US trade talks.

There was, however “no evidence of a broad-spectrum Russian campaign against the general election”, he insisted.

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The Russia report was handed to Downing Street before Boris Johnson called the December general election.

Asked what steps were taken to protect that contest, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Ahead of the 2019 election we ensured that we had robust systems in place to protect the UK against malign influence.”

Local authorities and political parties were given cyber and protective security advice, the spokesman added.

On the matter of Brexit, the Government have insisted that the European Union referendum result was fair.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU referendum,” the spokesman said, as he confirmed the Government would not order an investigation of Russian activities around the vote.

“Our intelligence and security agencies produce regular assessments of the threat posed by hostile state activities, including any potential interference in past or current UK democratic processes.”

The ISC said: “There has been credible open source commentary suggesting that Russia undertook influence campaigns in relation to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.”

In censored comments that follow, it notes: “It appears that (redacted) what some commentators have described as potentially the first post-Soviet Russian interference in a Western democratic process.”

More now needs to be done by security services and the intelligence community to assure the public that elections and the democratic process are safe, said the ISC.

“Whilst the issues at stake in the EU referendum campaign are less clear-cut, it is nonetheless the committee’s view that the UK intelligence community should produce an analogous assessment of potential Russian interference in the EU referendum and that an unclassified summary of it be published,” the committee stated.

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“Even if the conclusion of any such assessment were that there was minimal interference, this would nonetheless represent a helpful reassurance to the public that the UK’s democratic processes had remained relatively safe.”


In a 20-page response to the report, the Government rejected the call for an assessment of alleged Russian activity during the Brexit referendum.

It said: “We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum.

“The Intelligence and Security Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by hostile state activity, including around potential interference in UK democratic processes.

“We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence, including during democratic events such as elections and referendums.

“Where new information emerges, the Government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence it develops or receives, including whether it is appropriate to make this public.

“Given this long standing approach, a retrospective assessment of the EU Referendum is not necessary.”