What are the implications of Russian interference in British politics? Dr Victoria Honeyman discusses during interview on BBC Radio York
Following the release of the Intelligence and Security Committee's report into Russian interference in British politics, Dr Honeyman discusses her opinion on the matter with radio host Jules Bellerby.
Dr Honeyman explains that “the report has been complied by those who work in the field and are experts”. The report has taken a very critical view of the government’s actions, and “essentially argues that the British political establishment has deliberately turned a blind eye. To what, we are not entirely sure, because no one has ever looked for it” says Dr Honeyman. When reflecting upon the impact the report has had on the government, Dr Honeyman concludes that it has been damaging.
Russian influence in the UK is described as the new normal in the report which Dr Honeyman expresses concern about, saying that “with issues relating to Novichok and the Salisbury poisonings, it’s bewildering that these questions wouldn’t be asked and the ISC’s report is suggesting that these questions have wilfully not been asked because government ministers didn’t want to have to answer them”.
In the interview Dr Honeyman goes on to address what Britain can practically do about Russia and their influence on British politics, she states “they are not in a position of strength with Russia, they are really going to struggle to be able to make Russia do anything. So the argument that Britain has this kind of leverage to make Russia stop or start doing something is quite misleading”.
Dr Honeyman concludes the interview by attempting to predict the long-term impact the report will have, she explains that “it’s difficult to be able to know what’s going to happen. At the moment the government’s response to all things it doesn’t like is deny – essentially argue that the situation is closed and attempt to move on. And we’ve seen that playbook being used repeatedly on certain things”.
Listen to the full radio interview (starts approximately 3:19:50).