Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has written to the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt this lunchtime in the aftermath of the GRU hacking allegations asking him about possible Russian interference in the Brexit referendum in 2016.
In his letter he asks Hunt:
Can you therefore confirm whether any investigation is being undertaken by our intelligence services and other authorities into Russian interference in the UK? If it is not will you instruct the security services and other relevant bodies to begin one?
The MP has previously called for a “a Mueller-style full public inquiry into Russian interference in the referendum” and he repeated that demand in the letter – asking Hunt “does the government oppose such an inquiry or will you grant one?”
Watson’s remarks in part refer to Ukip donor Arron Banks. The Electoral Commission is currently investigating the source of the multi-million pound donations and loans Banks gave the smaller Leave.EU campaign. Banks has denied any improper Russian associations although he did meet the Russian ambassador for a “six hour boozy lunch” in 2015 and was subsequently offered the chance of participating in a gold deal, which Banks says he declined to do.