"Russia Report has exposed gaping hole in British cyber security"

21 July 2020, 15:16 | Updated: 21 July 2020, 18:33

By Seán Hickey

The release of the Russia Report should be a "wake up call" for the UK to strengthen its cyber security systems, says MP Catherine West.

Catherine West, the Shadow Minister for Europe and Americas and Labour MP joined Shelagh Fogarty to pick apart the Russia Report which was released today.

"For many years now we've known there's been interference and cyber attacks" Ms West began, but admitted that the findings of the report are damning nonetheless.

She summarised the report as "a real wake up call that we need to be alert" to cyber attacks in the same way we are prepared for terrorism.

Shelagh wondered what Ms West thought about the Government's disinterest in knowing whether "Russia tipped the balance in the Brexit election."

The Shadow Minister said that "there's enough to be getting on with in this report" aside from the absence of Brexit investigations.

"It's quite strong calling London's financial centre a laundromat," she pointed out, which should be enough for Government "to get to the bottom of our financial system and how it's being used, and strengthen it."

The Russia Report has shown significant interference by Russia in Britain
The Russia Report has shown significant interference by Russia in Britain. Picture: PA

"People in the House of Lords are being accused of...not just treachery but corruption, and that's a very very serious allegation," said Ms West, emphasising further that there is enough in the report that needs fixing to not place priority on what has been left out.

"I would expect the government to really put some resource into the gaping hole which there is in our national security."

The Labour MP feared that the UK has been lagging behind in its cyber potential in recent years and the Russia Report is testament to that.

"We do not seem to be equal to the task on these cyber attacks," she worried.

She concluded by hinting that the release of the report has opened up an entire conversation on corruption and its grip on British politics: "Would MPs ever use foreign people, foreign politicians or a foreign system to try and win an argument in our domestic politics? These are the sorts of questions that today's report is asking."