More must be done to stop Russian interference, says ex-spy

Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele has warned that there must be an increased organised effort to prevent Russia from disrupting and distorting political life.

In an interview with Conservative MP Damian Collins, Steele warned that Russia is targeting all political parties and that the UK has so far been ‘behind the curve’ in deterring Russian activity.

Steele, who was was behind the Trump-Russia dossier, which alleged collusion between Moscow and the US president's 2016 election campaign, told Collins’ podcast that political parties in the UK are being targeted and must proactively approach the security services for help.

Using Brexit as an example, Steele said that the Kremlin was seeking to shatter consensus and push political debate to the extremes, with an overall aim to ‘create great polarity, great partisanship and divisions within political life’.

Steele gave evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee's Russia inquiry, which criticised the security services for failing to investigate whether the Kremlin had interfered in Brexit and other areas of politics in recent years.

Discussing the reported strengthening of security laws to require foreign agents to register in the UK in future, Steele said such a move needs to be framed carefully so that it is effective.  

Although Steele was tight-lipped on Trump-Russia dossier, as legal action is ongoing, he did tell Collins that he expects more interference in the 2020 US election, especially given some foreign governments concerns regarding Democrat candidate Joe Biden.


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