Politics

Downing Street insists EU referendum result was ‘absolutely’ fair after damning Russia report published



Downing Street has insisted that the result of the 2016 EU referendum was “absolutely” fair after the publication of the Russia report today .

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked if Boris Johnson was confident the referendum was fair and replied: “Yes absolutely.

“We’ve seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU referendum.”

It comes after ministers were accused by Britain’s intelligence watchdog of failing to probe whether Russia sought to interfere in the EU referendum.


Two members of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee , Labour’s Kevan Jones and the SNP’s Stewart Hosie, stressed that no evidence had been found because Theresa May and Boris Johnson’s governments had not looked for it.

The Russia report was published today (BBC )

They said: “No one in Government knew if Russia interfered in or sought to influence the [EU] referendum, because they did not want to know.

“The UK Government has actively avoided looking for evidence that Russia interfered. We were told that they hadn’t seen any evidence, but that is meaningless if they hadn’t looked for it.”

The ISC asked MI5 if there was any secret intelligence to support unsubstantiated claims that Russia was seeking to influence the referendum in favour of Brexit, a claim Moscow denies.

“MI5 initially provided just six lines of text,” the report states.

The shortness of the response indicated “extreme caution amongst the intelligence and security agencies at the thought that they might have any role in relation to the UK’s democratic processes, and particularly one as contentious as the EU referendum”.

The report continued: “We repeat that this attitude is illogical; this is about the protection of the process and mechanism from hostile state interference, which should fall to our intelligence and security agencies.”

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