British security services to get extra powers in wake of Russia report

Boris Johnson (right) leaves the Foreign Office in LondonSecurity services are set to be given extra powers to try to prevent foreign interference in British democracy following a damning report from MPs on the potential threat posed by Russia.
It is understood Boris Johnson will strengthen counter-espionage laws in the wake of the report by the Commons intelligence and security committee(ISC). It has been suggested the UK could introduce a “register of foreign agents” like those in place in the US and Australia as part of a stronger move against foreign interference in internal affairs.
Under the US system, people who work for foreign governments and officials have to register with Justice Department and file reports about their activities.
The move comes with Labour poised to go on the offensive on the issue on Wednesday, parliament’s final sitting day before the summer recess.
Labour has accused the government of failing in its response to the security threat posed to UK democracy by Russia, after the long-delayed ISC report insisted London was too slow to recognise Moscow’s menace to British democratic processes.
Speaking ahead of an urgent question in parliament on Wednesday, Labour’s shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, said that “on every level, the government’s response does not appear to be equal to the threat”.
Johnson is likely to be questioned on the situation during the last prime minister’s questions of the parliamentary session.
Thomas-Symonds said: “The intelligence and security committee’s report on Russia exposes deep systemic failings in government approach to security.
“This report outlines the scale of the shortcomings of the government’s response to maintaining our national security in the face of what is clearly a growing and significant threat from Russia.
“The report outlines a litany of hostile state activity, from cyber warfare, interfering in democratic processes, acts of violence on UK soil and illicit finance. On every level the government’s response does not appear to be equal to the threat.
“While on key issues it is clear that there is no overall strategic response to this challenge – little wonder the government have been so keen to delay the publication.
“The UK has world-leading security services, yet this report makes clear they have not received the strategic support, the legislative tools or the resources necessary to defend our interests. The government need to urgently outline how they will address these systemic failings.”
It has been suggested the UK could introduce a “register of foreign agents” like the ones in place in the US and Australia as part of a stronger move against foreign interference in internal affairs.
Under the US system, people who work for foreign governments and officials have to register with US Justice Department and file reports about their activities.
The ISC said the government was slow to recognise the potential threat posed by Russia to British democratic processes and did not properly consider whether Moscow could interfere in the Brexit referendum until after the event.
The ISC report concluded the UK only belatedly realised the threat to political processes despite alarm bells ringing over the 2014 Scottish referendum.
The intelligence agencies and government departments treated the issue as a “hot potato”, with nobody effectively tackling the problem, the committee said.
The government said there was “no evidence” of successful Russian interference in the Brexit vote, but the committee – which oversees the work of Britain’s spies – suggested there was no proper investigation.
MI5 provided just “six lines of text” when asked whether there was secret intelligence on the issue of potential Russian meddling in the referendum.
The government – led by a prominent Brexiter in Johnson – has rejected the committee’s call for a full analysis of whether Vladimir Putin’s government did attempt to influence the result of the 2016 vote.
The report was drafted by the ISC’s members in the last parliament. Its publication was delayed by Johnson’s decision to call a general election and by the slow process of appointing a successor committee.


Follow us on twitter (ajuede.com) or on Instagram (ajuedeman) for details of the global situation presently.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has now treated 699 coronavirus patients with 100% success

ORIGIN OF THE AKAN

GARDEN OF EDEN FOUND IN AFRICA

FIVE WAYS A WIFE CAN REST HER HUSBAND ON HER

THE HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF THE ZULU PEOPLE

BRIEF HISTORY OF NKALAHA.

MYSTERY OF IGBO COSMOLOGY

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF UDI by Onyeji Nnaji

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF NSUKKA by Onyeji Nnaji

THE HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF EHA-AMUFU