Ben Kentish 6pm - 10pm
Russia has been 'interfering in Western democracies for years', ex-Defence Secretary says
17 July 2020, 08:56
A former Defence Secretary tells LBC Russia "has been interfering in Western democracies for several years" and they made a fool of Jeremy Corbyn during the election
When asked by Tom Swarbrick what he made of the recent Government claims about Russia, former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said it was "part of a pattern" and that "Russia has been interfering in Western democracies for several years."
In a written Commons statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "On the basis of extensive analysis, the Government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 general election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents."
Sir Michael said the allegations were "not wholly surprising" but that it was "fairly shocking that they were able to make a fool of Jeremy Corbyn during the election."
Tom Swarbrick stepped in and said it was still a "legitimate document" drawn up by the British Government.
The former Defence Secretary said it was "made clear at the time" to Mr Corbyn and the nation that the NHS was not going to be sold off.
"Clearly, in trying to promote that document, which they stole, they were trying to interfere in our election," he told LBC.
Tom asked Sir Michael if he had come across any evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, which the former minister said he hadn't.
Tom said that seemed "strange", especially as the Brexit referendum was a "critical question of the UK's strategic global positioning," there was no Russian meddling.
Sir Michael said the allegations had only emerged over the last few months, and at the time there were no specific allegations.
But, he warned evidence of meddling in other nation's national affairs showed "evidence of a pattern."
"What the Russians want is not any particular outcome of an election, what they want is to destabilise us," the politician said.
When Tom asked how the UK could "deter" Russian aggression Sir Michael said the country had to keep a "strong defence" and do more to try and deter cyber attacks by better collaboration with allies.
Watch the whole informative call from a defence expert in the video at the top of the page.