BBC's Andrew Marr grilled Lisa Nandy on the "embarrassing" decision from Labour to use documents allegedly leaked by Russian intelligence agents du
BBC’s Andrew Marr grilled Lisa Nandy on the “embarrassing” decision from Labour to use documents allegedly leaked by Russian intelligence agents during last year’s general election. The Government acknowledged for the first time with certainty that Russians interfered in the UK’s general election in 2019. This comes ahead of a much-delayed report into allegations of wider Russian interference in UK democracy due next week.
The report will detail alleged Russian interference in the 2017 general election and the 2016 Brexit vote.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Russians almost certainly sought to interfere in the 2019 election through “illicitly acquired documents”.
Labour said it condemned “any attempt by Russia, or any foreign power, to interfere in our country’s democratic processes” and pledged to work to protect the nation’s security.
Marr questioned why Labour did not investigate the origins of the documents, which detailed US-UK trade discussions.
JUST IN: Corbyn leadership ripped to shreds as Labour ‘got it wrong’ on Russia
Jeremy Corbyn, then-Labour leader, paraded the documents during the election campaign as proof the Conservatives were planning to include the NHS in a future trade agreement with the US – a claim denied by the Government.
Marr said: “During the general election campaign, we all remember the use the Labour Party made of those trade documents on the NHS.
“If it turns out to be true that they were in the public domain thanks to the Russian agents putting them there, is that not embarrassing for Labour?
“Should you not have investigated the origin more before using them?”
Marr asked whether Ms Nandy or current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer would have used them.
She said: “No, if I was making that decision, if Keir Starmer was making that decision, and we knew that they’d come from Russian agents then of course we wouldn’t use them.”
Ms Nandy went on to say Labour “got it wrong on Russia,” adding “we should not have called for consensus” following the Salisbury poisoning attack.
Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Corbyn has responded to the attacks by claiming Downing Street is trying to “divert attention from the threat to the NHS and the Tory party links to Russian oligarchs expected to be revealed in the long-buried parliamentary Russia report”.