New Zealand Markets closed

Clinton shames UK for not publishing Russian meddling report

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, HILARY CLINTON, SAYING:

"I think it's outrageous"

Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has criticized the British government's failure to publish a report into Russian meddling, ahead of a snap election next month.

The report, from parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, examines allegations of Russian activity aimed at the UK - including in the 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union.

But despite receiving the document almost a month ago, and it having been cleared by the security services, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not approved its release.

That means it won't be published before the December 12 poll - in which Brexit is the main factor.

Clinton, who accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election, said British voters deserve to see the report.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, HILARY CLINTON, SAYING:

"There's a lot of evidence that Russia played in the Brexit election. Now I'm not in your country, I don't have a say about any of that, but the fact that the current government won't release this report by your own government should raise some questions."

Moscow has repeatedly denied meddling in Western elections.

Johnson's deputy finance minister said on Tuesday (November 12) that the holdup was normal.

But the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee says it's unprecedented and the opposition Labour Party has accused Johnson of delaying for politically-motivated reasons - suggesting the government fears the report will raise questions over links between Russia and Brexit, and money from Russian sources to Johnson's Conservative Party.

The government has said those are smears and conspiracy theories being spread for party political reasons and that all donations to the Conservatives are transparent and fully in accordance with the rules.

On Tuesday, Labour also said it had been subjected to a "sophisticated and large scale cyber attack" on all its digital platforms.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH OPPOSITION LABOUR LEADER, JEREMY CORBYN, SAYING:

"A cyber attack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about."

The party said the attempt failed due to robust security systems.

British security sources have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyber attacks to attempt to disrupt the upcoming election.