Russian hackers meddled in UK election by spreading secret documents which were brandished by Jeremy Corbyn


RUSSIAN hackers meddled in the UK election by spreading secret documents which were brandished by Jeremy Corbyn.

The Government have today claimed the leaked NHS documents held by Mr Corbyn were “amplified” by Russians.

Corbyn used the papers to smear the Tories

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Corbyn used the papers to smear the Tories

The Labour leader had tried to use the leaked NHS documents used to smear the Tories ahead of his disastrous election result.

Now the Government has claimed “Russian actors” were involved in the spread of the document.

They were first uploaded onto the internet site Reddit – but got no attention.

Russian actors then sought to promote them further and get more media attention to try and interfere in the UK’s election, the Government said.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab explained: “The Government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.

“Sensitive Government documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement were illicitly acquired before the 2019 General Election and disseminated online via the social media platform Reddit.

“When these gained no traction, further attempts were made to promote the illicitly acquired material online in the run up to the General Election.

“Whilst there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election, any attempt to interfere in our democratic processes is completely unacceptable. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections.

“There is an ongoing criminal investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to say anything further at this point.”

The Government said today:

  • A criminal investigation is taking place to find those who leaked the documents
  • A series of documents were put online but Russian actors were involved in trying to get it more traction
  • More sanctions were threatened in response to the news
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The online forum Reddit confirmed the leak was linked to the Kremlin in December last year.

The dossier of leaked minutes from trade talks, which Mr Corbyn claimed was evidence Boris Johnson would sell the NHS to Donald Trump, was ripped off the website.

A statement from Reddit at the time said: “We were recently made aware of a post on Reddit that included leaked documents from the UK.

“We investigated this account and the accounts connected to it, and today we believe this was part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia.”

Dominic Raab’s full statement

I AM today updating Parliament on the ongoing investigations into the leak of the UK-US Free Trade Agreement documents ahead of the General Election in 2019. The Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee has been briefed on the details of this incident.

The Government has robust systems in place to protect the UK against foreign malign influence. These bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to monitor and respond to interference, to ensure our democracy stays open, transparent and resilient. During the 2019 General Election a cross-Government election security cell was stood up to coordinate responses to threats and hazards relating to the election.

On the basis of extensive analysis, the Government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.

Sensitive Government documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement were illicitly acquired before the 2019 General Election and disseminated online via the social media platform Reddit. When these gained no traction, further attempts were made to promote the illicitly acquired material online in the run up to the General Election.

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Whilst there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election, any attempt to interfere in our democratic processes is completely unacceptable. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections.

There is an ongoing criminal investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to say anything further at this point.

The Government reserves the right to respond with appropriate measures in the future.

The UK will continue to call out and respond to malign activity, including any attempts to interfere in our democratic processes, alongside our international partners. We fully support the recent action taken by our German partners who exposed Russian responsibility for the hack of their Parliament in 2015 as well as their intention to act against those responsible under the cyber sanctions regime. The UK Government laid the statutory instrument for our own cyber sanctions regime on 17 June.

Mr Corbyn even brought the documents to election debates

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Mr Corbyn even brought the documents to election debates

The Labour leader was branded a “foolish pawn” over the blunder.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverley blasted: “Corbyn has some serious questions to answer.

“Is he a foolish pawn in a Russian disinformation campaign, or did he know where the leaked documents came from?”

Analysts at the time claimed the papers, waved by Mr Corbyn at an election rally, bore the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign called Secondary Infektion.

Labour were quick to pounce on the contents of the papers, claiming they revealed “the plot against our NHS”.

Experts previously raised fears over the origin of the documents.

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Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at media analytics outfit Graphika, said: “It’s on the same set of websites, it’s using the same types of accounts and making the same language errors.

“It’s either the Russian operation or someone trying hard to look like it.”

Ousted MP and Corbynite Laura Pidcock even got into a row with Sky’s Kay Burley over the documents, refusing five times to say whether the party’s leaked NHS dossier came from Russia.

The then shadow secretary of state for employment rights got into a spat with the journalist days after Jeremy Corbyn claimed he’d found “evidence” that the NHS would be up for sale in a series of papers.

The original Reddit posting was uploaded on October 21 but was little known until Mr Corbyn unveiled it at a highly trailed campaign event.

The leftie boss had tried to distract the electorate with the documents

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The leftie boss had tried to distract the electorate with the documents





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