A UK politician has claimed there is “clear evidence” unspecified Russian forces have directly interfered in British elections, going as far to argue that decisions at the upper echelon of the country’s security services have been “compromised” by Kremlin infiltration. “There is now clear evidence of Russian direct, corrupt involvement in elections in France, in Germany, in the United States of America, and I would argue also in this country,” said Chris Bryant MP, a Labour politician, in the House of Commons on 21 February. In his strongly-worded speech to a half-empty room, he continued: “Many believe that some of the highest level decisions affecting security in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in France and in the United States of America are now compromised by Russian infiltration.”
Ever since the cyberattacks at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last year, state-sponsored hacking has become a major talking point on the lips of many political representatives around the world. US intelligence believes the group responsible for the cyber-intrusion was ATP28, a notorious group also dubbed Fancy Bear. The hackers’ techniques and choice of malware, according to multiple cybersecurity firms, suggest strong links to the Kremlin’s intelligence services.
Bryant, a former Minister of State for Europe, spoke out following revelations from across the water that US president Donald Trump was not being briefed on a daily basis by his security services over alleged fears his administration would leak sensitive information to Russian spies.
In the UK, during the opening of a new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in central London, GCHQ intelligence chief Ciaran Martin told media that some political parties have approached the security services over fears that cyberattacks may be used to disrupt democracy.