Home Business News Nicola Sturgeon open to probe over independence interference by Russia

Nicola Sturgeon open to probe over independence interference by Russia

21st Jul 20 3:44 pm

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she has “no objection” into an enquiry being launched over Russia’s interference in Scotland’s independence referendum.

After a heavily redacted report was released by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) on Tuesday, Sturgeon warned that governments must not be “complacent” over any interference in a democratic process.

She criticised the British government by saying their response could be viewed as “negligence” over the ISC report.

The ISC committee report said there is “credible open source commentary” which does suggest that the Kremlin used influence campaigns during the 2014 independence referendum.

However, the evidence of these claims by the ISC were redacted.

As intelligence and security is a devolved matter, it will be the British government who will have to undertake an investigation.

Sturgeon hopes that the ISC report will lead to a “much more rigorous approach” by the British Government in dealing with any future interference.

SNP MP and ISC member Stewart Hosie has recommended that Boris Johnson’s government looks into the 2014 interference.

Hosie said, “It wasn’t the case the Government weren’t told that they should be looking at this.

“The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee called on the government to launch an investigation into foreign influence, disinformation funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data in relation to the Scottish independence referendum.

“So, the government were told by a Select Committee of the House to undertake precisely the work that would have identified the scale and scope of this threat.”

Fellow ISC member Kevan Jones said: “All the evidence was there from the Scottish referendum.

“Short of a large van outside Downing Street with a billboard on it saying ‘this is what was going on’ what more did the government need?

“It does raise the question why the decision was taken not to look at the referendum?”

Sturgeon added, “I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from the three lines or thereabouts that the report has on the Scottish independence referendum.”

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