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Intelligence and Security Committee Report on Russia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:35 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State 12:35 pm, 5th November 2019

I am obliged to the right hon. Lady for giving us a run-down of her interest in smears and conspiracy theories. She wonders where Professor Stone was in the 1980s—I rather wonder where the Leader of the Opposition was in the 1980s and, for that matter, in the 1990s, the 2000s and quite recently. It is rather rich for her to suggest that somehow the Conservative party and this Government are linked to Russian disinformation, given the way that her party leadership has acted and the responsibility that her party leadership has had down the years for being hand in hand with its Russian friends.

In respect of the right hon. Lady’s question about publication, the Government and the Prime Minister have a responsibility under the Justice and Security Act 2013 to look properly at the report, and that is what he is doing. The turnaround time for this report is not unusual. The response time to the Committee is not unusual. The CT attacks report and the detainee report took some time to turn around. I understand why the right hon. Lady may wish—for party political purposes in this febrile time, as the House of Commons is about to dissolve—to make the points that she has, but they are entirely refutable. I believe, personally, that they are reprehensible, and I wish that she would withdraw the imputation about the good name of the Conservative party and this Government.