The Intelligence and Security Committee has unanimously agreed that it will publish the Report on Russia prepared by its predecessor “before the house rises for the summer recess”, it has been revealed this morning.
The ruling comes just hours after Dr Julian Lewis was appointed as chair of the committee, much to the dismay of the Prime Minister.
It was expected that Chris Grayling would take the role with members reportedly being “whipped” to support the former transport secretary despite concerns about his expertise.
Lewis has had the Tory whip removed for “acting with the opposition for his own advantage”.
Kremlin-sanctioned disinformation campaigns
According to a senior Whitehall source the cross-party report into illicit Russian activities in Britain could have been suppressed because it raises questions over the validity of the referendum result.
The inquiry into illicit Russian activities in Britain, which heard evidence from MI5, MI6 & GCHQ, “could not rule out” that Kremlin-sanctioned disinformation campaigns influenced the landmark vote in 2016, The Times revealed last year.
The report was blocked in November by Downing Street before the general election took place.
The source said at the time: “Downing Street are concerned that if this emerges it would raise questions about the validity of the referendum result, which is the central issue in the general election campaign and could compromise the Tories pitch to the electorate to get Brexit done.”
“Affront to democracy”
Earlier this year a cross-party group of MPs wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to publish the Russia report – saying his failure to do so has been an “affront to democracy”.
According to Business Insider reports MPs demanded it be made public, saying it is “untenable” for him to continue to block its publication.
“Your refusal to allow publication of this crucial document raises serious concerns and questions about the transparency and integrity of our democratic process”, the letter reads.
This is a breaking news story.