03:04 GMT10 August 2020
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    The long-awaited intelligence report, allegedly delayed so as not to interfere with last year's parliamentary elections, is said to include 50 pages of allegations about 'Russian meddling' in the UK's democratic process.

    Britain's parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee has promised to release its 'Russian influence' operations report before the legislative body begins its summer recess on July 22.

    "The Committee has unanimously agreed this morning that it will publish the Report on Russia prepared by its predecessor before the house rises for the summer recess," it said in a statement Thursday.

    The intelligence oversight committee was formed Wednesday after a delay of several months, selecting Conservative MP Julian Lewis as its chairman, instead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's preferred candidate - former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Johnson sacked Lewis from the Tory Party after accusing him of colluding with the opposition Labour and Scottish National Party lawmakers "for his own advantage".

    The Russia Report, said to contain allegations of Moscow's attempts to interfere in British politics going back to the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, and the 2017 general election, was originally compiled last year by the previously convened Intelligence and Security Committee, only to be withheld from publication ahead of December's general election after Johnson dissolved parliament.

    Mr. Johnson's critics have accused the government of delaying the formation of the parliamentary intelligence committee and the publication of the report as they say it would be embarrassing for the Conservative Party, although House leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted the delay was aimed at ensuring that "the right people with the right level of experience and responsibility" were appointed. The prime minister has personally promised that the report would be published "in due course."

    Formed under the Intelligence Services Act of 1994, the UK's parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee has faced credibility issues in its previous investigations, allegedly dropping the ball on both the Iraq weapons of mass destruction inquiry and its report on the July 2005 terror attacks in London, as well as its investigations into British intelligence's complicity in the US torture of terror suspects.

    Britain is one of several countries where Russia has been accused of using trolls, bots, social media and "weaponized information" campaigns to meddle in the electoral process in recent years, although investigations by both Facebook and Twitter have since concluded that there is no evidence to prove Moscow's alleged interference as far as the UK is concerned. Across the pond in the United States, investigators spent three years and tens of millions of dollars searching for evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in the 2016 race, only to come up empty handed following the publication of the Mueller Report in April 2019.

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