UK inquiry was warned of Russian infiltration, leaked testimony shows

Members of the cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) were told that Moscow built up a network of friendly British diplomats, lawyers, parliamentarians and other influencers from across the political spectrum. One witness described the development as as “potentially the most significant threat to the UK’s institutions and its ways of life,” according to testimony seen by CNN.

Opposition politicians have accused the government of a cover-up, saying it could raise awkward questions about the validity of the Brexit referendum in 2016 and expose the alleged Russian connections of some in the ruling Conservative party.

The ISC, which provides oversight of Britain’s intelligence and security agencies, and whose nine members are bound by the UK’s Official Secrets Act, completed its investigation in March. Its report was submitted to Downing Street for approval on October 17, after a lengthy period of clearance with the security services. Sources have told CNN the report includes a heavily redacted annex.

Grieve, a former attorney general who is no longer a member of the ruling Conservative party, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that it was usual practice for Downing Street to approve ISC publications within 10 days. The report may not now be published for months, he said, as ISC reports can only be released when parliament is sitting and the committee is constituted.

Downing Street has repeatedly denied that the failure to publish the report before the election…

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