Russia Report raises Brexit vote questions, say Cornish Campaigners

Cornwall for Europe, the pro EU campaign group, have hit out at the way elections may have been influenced by Russia – including the 2016 Referendum on Brexit.

Their Press Officer, Charles Boney, said:

‘We always knew about the lies – such as the weekly cost of EU membership being freed up for the NHS, the immigrants likely to flood in from Turkey – but what we did not know was the way Russians were trying to influence the vote as well. The frightening aspect of the Report is that it is clear that the Government did not want our security services to find the evidence’

Howard Farmer, who helps run local campaigning in Cornwall said:

‘We have reached a very sad place as a country. We can’t fully trust our election results or our politicians and we may have accidentally made a decision which will reduce our prosperity and national standing for generations to come. In Cornwall, we will continue to stand by our values and try to be as close as possible to our European neighbours.’

Tom Scott, Cornwall for Europe Social media officer, has researched and written about Russia interference in elections in recent years. He has prepared a detailed comment on the Report for publication on the CFE facebook page:-

The Russia Report, despite being full of redactions and naming very few names, is a truly explosive document.

Shockingly, it reveals that the intelligence & security agencies have been asleep at the wheel – they did little or nothing to prevent Putin interfering in the Brexit referendum and have done no retrospective analysis of this, despite an abundance of open-source evidence showing that he did.

It also pulls no punches about the extent to which Russian money from sources close to Putin has permeated the British business and political class. As it points out, this means that what the UK is looking at here is not just an external threat, but “a threat from Russia within its own borders”.

The stench of corruption around Boris Johnson’s government should alert us to what Putin and the oligarchs around him have been doing. Essentially, the picture painted by the Russia Report is of the amalgamation of international kleptocracies, effected by means of large infusions of Russian money into the heart of the British establishment.

Some of the redactions are as significant as the main text. This one, in a footnote on Arron Banks, for instance: “We note that Arron Banks became the biggest donor in British political history when he gave £8m to the Leave.EU campaign. In October 2018, the Electoral Commission – which had been investigating the source of this donation – referred the case to the National Crime Agency, which investigated it [REDACTION]. In September 2019, the National Crime Agency announced that it had concluded the investigation, having found no evidence that any criminal offences had been committed under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act.”

This should be read in the light of an earlier passage in the report, which notes that the National Crime Agency is insufficiently resourced to investigate the true origins of “unexplained wealth”: “the reality is that it is highly probable that the oligarchy will have the financial means to ensure their lawyers – a key group of professional enablers – find ways to circumvent this legislation […] By contrast, the NCA lacks the resources required in terms of financial investigators, technical experts and legal expertise – this must be rectified.”

Downing Street sources will no doubt attempt to make out that this report contains no “smoking gun”. In fact, the report shows a country choking under a cloud of gunsmoke, and a deeply compromised political establishment that has done next to nothing to protect the integrity of our democracy from corruption by a mafia state.

Some of the redactions are as significant as the main text. This one, in a footnote on Arron Banks, for instance: “We note that Arron Banks became the biggest donor in British political history when he gave £8m to the Leave.EU campaign. In October 2018, the Electoral Commission – which had been investigating the source of this donation – referred the case to the National Crime Agency, which investigated it [REDACTION]. In September 2019, the National Crime Agency announced that it had concluded the investigation, having found no evidence that any criminal offences had been committed under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act.”

This should be read in the light of an earlier passage in the report, which notes that the National Crime Agency is insufficiently resourced to investigate the true origins of “unexplained wealth”: “the reality is that it is highly probable that the oligarchy will have the financial means to ensure their lawyers – a key group of professional enablers – find ways to circumvent this legislation […] By contrast, the NCA lacks the resources required in terms of financial investigators, technical experts and legal expertise – this must be rectified.”

Downing Street sources will no doubt attempt to make out that this report contains no “smoking gun”. In fact, the report shows a country choking under a cloud of gunsmoke, and a deeply compromised political establishment that has done next to nothing to protect the integrity of our democracy from corruption by a mafia state.

Published by

cornwall4eu

A grassroots organisation campaigning to stay in the EU with all the benefits it has brought to Cornwall and the UK