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James O'Brien's powerful reaction to Government "keeping Russia Report secret"
23 July 2020, 13:44 | Updated: 23 July 2020, 15:09
This is James O'Brien's powerful smoking gun analogy for the Government "keeping the Russia Report secret" for nine months.
The 'Russia Report' has laid bare concerns over Russian interference with the UK's internal affairs through online disinformation, espionage and disrupting democracy.
Russia poses a "significant threat to the UK" and its influence in Britain's corridors of power has become "the new normal," according to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report
Despite this finding, the Prime Minister refused calls during PMQs to investigate Russian influence on the EU referendum result.
James reflected on this decision, "The scale of contempt in which they must hold us if they think they can stand up and say well we haven't investigated it all and therefore we know there's no evidence."
He interpreted the nine month publishing delay of the Russia Report as being solely due to the good news of the Brexit outcome for the Government.
"Imagine that: why did you keep it for secret so long? Because it was such good news. Why don't you want the public to find out about it? Because they would be really pleased with the news in it," he said sarcastically.
He explained there was an abundance of smoke and did the Government "look for a fire or a smoking gun? No."
"What conclusion have you drawn from this preponderance of smoke? And your failure to look for the source of the smoke? Well we've concluded that there is no source for the smoke.
"There is loads and loads of smoke, but we haven't looked for the smoking gun, therefore we can conclude with utter certainty that there was no smoking gun."
James likened it to someone coming to him and telling them they'd been assaulted and James replying "no you haven't because we haven't done any investigation and therefore we know you that you haven't, there is no evidence."
He said "even Rupert Murdoch's stormtroopers" would refuse to write articles on behalf of the Government claiming the lack of investigation is the same as lack of evidence found.
James gave out the LBC phone number, a reflex of his "a bit like Johnson lying...without even thinking."
He branded the Prime Minister as "giving out proven calumnies on an almost weekly basis."