James O'Brien's furious reaction to blocking of Lord Lebedev security assessment

13 May 2022, 12:04

Security concerns have been expressed in the past over Lord Evgeny Lebedev's appointment to the House of Lords
Security concerns have been expressed in the past over Lord Evgeny Lebedev's appointment to the House of Lords. Picture: Getty

By Seán Hickey

The refusal to release security assessments into Evgeny Lebedev's appointment to the House of Lords is yet another consequence of 'Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain', James O'Brien states.

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Controversy swirls around government after ministers denied the House of Commons' request for security advice around Evgeny Lebedev's recommendation to the House of Lords to be released.

Lord Lebedev is the son of former Russian spy and oligarch Alexander Lebedev, which led eyebrows to be raised when he was nominated for a peerage by the Prime Minister.

James O'Brien explained that the government "simply aren't divvying up the information that was asked for. It's all redacted."

Read more: Dominic Raab repeatedly refuses to comment on PM's relationship with Russian billionaire

After sending an assessment to Boris Johnson, security services withdrew their investigation into Lord Lebedev, which is said to conclude that Baron Lebedev of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and of Siberia in the Russian Federation poses a national security risk.

However, the government's reason for denying the release of the security assessment is that it would pose a national security risk to release such information.

"It is known now that the security services concluded that handing a peerage to the son of a former KGB agent – yes, I am saying these words out loud, it's Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain –...posed a national security risk."

James tied the news back to Brexit: "Everyone who cares about sovereignty and democracy, come here a minute!

"I've got some here for you! Remember when you pretended that's what you cared about rather than the number of brown faces in Sainsbury's?"

Reassessing the situation through a Brexit lens, James noted that "our sovereign parliament" passed a motion "compelling the release of a security services assessment."

James dialled up the passion: "The House of Commons that took back control! That no longer has to operate under the yoke of those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels! We've got control! Parliament passed a motion and Boris Johnson said 'nah, get lost'."

"But hey ho, I'm just getting angry because Boris Johnson is getting away with it", he scoffed.

James concluded by sharing his anger with listeners.

"I don't even know anymore what contortions they undertake to persuade themselves that they're not party to all manner of miscreants."

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