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20 Nov, 2019 14:31

'No evidence of meddling': Boris Johnson defends decision not to publish Russian influence report before election

'No evidence of meddling': Boris Johnson defends decision not to publish Russian influence report before election

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he has never seen “any” evidence of Russian interference in British democracy and defended his decision not to publish a parliamentary report into the subject before the December 12 election.

Asked Wednesday about his decision to wait until after the election to publish the controversial report, Johnson said he saw no reason to change the timeline for publication.

There's absolutely no evidence that I've ever seen of any Russian interference in UK democratic processes.

Johnson's decision to shelve the 50-page report compiled by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) sparked outrage from the opposition, despite the fact that all public indications so far appear to suggest that it contains no evidence that Moscow meddled in either the 2016 Brexit referendum or the 2017 general election.

Earlier this month, sources with "direct knowledge" of the report's contents told BuzzFeed that the committee found no evidence of Russian meddling and that this finding was "categorical." 

Previous investigations by Facebook and by Oxford researchers also came up short in their efforts to uncover supposed Russian interference. Yet, that has not put a stop to British political and media hysteria on the matter.

Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings has even been cast under a suspicious light for the sin of having worked in Russia for a stint in the 90s, with a whistleblower raising "concerns" over the relationships he cultivated there.

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Despite all of the Russia hysteria, however, Johnson said he saw "no reason whatever to change to timetable for publication [of the report] just because there was a general election going on."

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