Boris Johnson Clears Release of Report into Alleged Russian Interference in U.K. Democracy 3 Days After Election Victory

Newly-elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cleared the release of a report into alleged Russian interference in U.K. democracy, just days after winning a landslide victory in the nation's general election.

Johnson has been facing calls to release the report for months, but the government had refused to do so.

The administration argued that it was following a normal timescale in holding the report until after the election, but opposition parties suggested the ruling Conservatives were delaying its release to avoid embarrassing revelations.

Johnson's official spokesperson said on Monday that the 50-page report would be published "in due course," the BBC reported.

"In line with his responsibilities under the Justice and Security Act 2013, the prime minister carefully considered the report of the former committee," the spokesperson added. "He is content publication would not prejudice the functions of those bodies that safeguard our national security."

The spokesperson did not give an exact date for the report's release, explaining that decision is up to the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee. The committee will be formed once Parliament reopens later this week.

Johnson, who was appointed prime minister after his predecessor Theresa May resigned in July, repeatedly denied that his government was delaying the report's release for political reasons.

Opposition parties suggested it could be damaging for the Conservatives, who have governed either alone or as a senior coalition partner since 2010.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron also allowed and oversaw the 2016 Brexit referendum, which some have suggested bore signs of Russian meddling.

Johnson was a leading campaigner for the victorious Leave campaign in that referendum.

Previous reports have shown that multiple wealthy Russians are among the Conservative Party's top donors.

Indeed, The Sunday Times reported that nine such donors are named in the Russia report.

Former ISC chair Dominic Grieve—who lost his seat in last week's election having rebelled against Johnson in his effort to push through Brexit legislation—previously said that the prime minister's refusal to release the report was "jaw-dropping."

He told The Independent that Johnson agreeing to release the document so soon after his victory "shows that in fact it was perfectly possible to sanction its publication before parliament was dissolved in November. The reasons he gave at the time for non-publication were bogus."

Before the election, Johnson and his allies said there was not enough time to properly vet the report for full release.

During the election campaign, Johnson said: "There is absolutely no evidence that I know of to show any interference in any British electoral event." He also described concerns about Russia interference as "Bermuda Triangle stuff."

Boris Johnson, UK, Russia, report, interference, election
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured speaking to supporters on a visit to meet newly elected Conservative Party MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell at Sedgefield Cricket Club on December 14, 2019 in County Durham, U.K. Lindsey Parnaby - WPA Pool/Getty Images/Getty
Boris Johnson Clears Release of Report into Alleged Russian Interference in U.K. Democracy 3 Days After Election Victory | News