LONDON (AP) — A powerful committee of British lawmakers that oversees the intelligence and security services said Thursday that it will release a long-awaited report on alleged Russian interference in U.K. politics before Parliament's summer break next week.
The Intelligence and Security Committee has not been able to publish the report since it was compiled last year after Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to clear it for release ahead of the general election in December. The report needs government approval before it can be made public.
Johnson has been dogged by questions about the unpublished report for months, especially over what it says about any Russian involvement in the 2016 Brexit campaign, which saw Britain vote to leave the European Union.
The main opposition Labour Party has accused the government of failing to publish the report because it would lead to other questions about the links between Russia and the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, which was spearheaded by Johnson.
The decision to publish the report comes a day after the new committee for this current parliamentary term was formed. Its first action was to reject the government’s preferred candidate to lead it.
The nine-member committee elected lawmaker Julian Lewis as chairman. The job had been expected to go to a former minister, Chris Grayling, who is a loyal supporter of Johnson.
A political storm ensued and Lewis was kicked out of the party's caucus in Parliament. Lewis said the decision to strip him of his Conservative status was “strange” given that the committee is meant to be outside the influence of government.