The UK government will co-operate with a high-profile probe into Russian interference in the American Presidential election, Theresa May has said.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw demanded to know at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday whether the government “and all its agencies are co-operating fully with the Mueller investigation, or will do so if asked”.
May replied: “We take very seriously the issue of Russian intervention, or Russian attempts to intervene, in electoral processes, or in the democratic processes of any country, and we will do so for any other states that were involved in trying to intervene in any elections.
“We do of course work closely with our United States partners and I can assure him that as part of that relationship, we do co-operate with them when required.”
US President Donald Trump’s campaign manager was indicted earlier this week as part of an ongoing investigation into meddling around the 2016 election, led by the American Justice Department’s special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Documents published as part of the probe revealed a British-based Maltese academic, Professor Mifsud, apparently acted as a contact point between the Russians and George Papadopoulos, a member of Trump’s campaign team, who has admitted lying to the FBI about his dealings with the Kremlin.
Blogging for HuffPost UK, Bradshaw said the UK government could “no longer maintain its silence over Kremlin subversion of our democracy”.
“There is significant and growing public concern about foreign interference in our democracy in general and the potential role of dark money in the EU Referendum in particular,” the Exeter MP wrote.
“This is the subject of a major judicial and congressional investigation in the United States. There is clear and growing evidence that the tangled web of attempted subversion and money included Britain.
“Yet, from the outset, the British Government has remained totally silent on all of this. The small number of British parliamentarians and journalists who have been asking questions have met with stonewalling and obfuscation.”
Bradshaw said much of the evidence discovered by the Mueller investigation was gathered by the British intelligence agencies.
“It is inconceivable to me, as a former minister responsible for the intelligence services, that UK ministers do not know much more than they are letting on,” he added.
“More details with more relevance to the UK will inevitably be unearthed by the Mueller inquiry.
“It would be in the British Goverment’s own interests to come clean now on what it knows, rather than allow it to emerge drip drip from another country’s political and judicial processes.”