Intelligence expert scoffs at Priti Patel's dismissal of Russia Report

24 July 2020, 18:28

By Fiona Jones

This intelligence expert scoffs at the Home Secretary's dismissal of the Russia Report as "out of date."

The 'Russia Report' published this week has laid bare serious concerns over Russian interference with the UK's internal affairs through online disinformation, espionage and disrupting democracy.

The report was submitted to the Prime Minister in October and he has been accused of "sitting on" it, yet in defence of the findings the Home Secretary Priti Patel branded the report "out of date".

Security and Intelligence expert Professor Anthony Glees scoffed at Ms Patel's defence, "I think that's a ridiculous point because the report looks back at the Scottish referendum of 2014 and goes right up to the general election of 2019.

"It's not out of date unless you argue that something very dramatic has happened in the first seven months of this year, and I don't think anybody, not even Priti Patel, would try and argue that."

Speaking in an interview Home Secretary assured "when it comes to our adversaries, we're much stronger than we were."

Professor Anthony responded that the MI5 clearly need more staff to deal with Russian influence, and while oligarchs do not have as direct a danger on the British public as terrorist, they still have a significant and different risk.

"MI5 dithering about saying we need new laws to prosecute people, that's ridiculous. They act in secret, they've got the statutory duty to operate against people who want to overthrow our Parliamentary democracy," Professor Anthony said.

He called it "nonsense" that the intelligence service needs to await instruction from politicians to investigate outside threats.