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Russian groups sought to interfere in general election over leaked trade documents, says government | Politics News

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Russian groups sought to interfere in last year’s general election through the promotion of leaked documents on a potential US-UK trade deal, the government has found.

In a written statement to parliament, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “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.

“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.”

The leaked documents on a potential US-UK trade deal became a major debating point in last year’s general election campaign.

Then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn used the official papers as evidence the NHS will be “on the table” in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal with America.

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