Russia IS trying to disrupt UK politics and must be stopped, ex MI6 agent warns
RUSSIA is trying to disrupt UK politics and must be stopped now before it's too late, an MI6 officer has warned.
Christopher Steele said the UK had been "behind the curve" on dealing with the huge threat of Putin's Russia in the past.
And in an interview with Tory MP Damian Collins he said that all political parties must watch out as they are all on their target list.
Moscow's aim was "to create great polarity, great partisanship and divisions within political life, the likes of which we have not seen in democracies before" he told the Infotagion podcast.
Donations, cyber hacks and other forms of attacks are being aimed squarely at Britain's political insitutions.
He added: "All political parties are being targeted in one way or another.
"They need to wake up to this and they need to be proactive in countering it, because whether it’s donations on the Conservative side or leaking of documents that are used in election campaigns on the Labour side, through hacking or whatever.
"It needs to be an organized counter effort to make sure that this doesn’t distort and disrupt our political life.”
He said that the threats from Russia and how they operate have been "two steps ahead of everybody else".
Part of the problem was a Government "brain drain" as so many experts head from jobs in diplomacy into work in the private sector.
Russian influence “is not being properly countered because of a lack of experience and imagination", he stressed.
His stark warning comes just days after it was revealed that Russian actors were involving in the hacking of former trade secretary Liam Fox's emails.
Secret UK-US trade documents were obtained and slapped on the internet website Reddit.
They lay there unnoticed for several weeks before being picked up by Jeremy Corbyn's team during the election.
The Labour boss waved them around at a campaign event and tried to claim it was proof that Boris Johnson wanted to sell off the NHS to Donald Trump as part of a deal.
The UK Government has blamed Russians for spreading the material that was leaked.
The leak itself is still subject to an investigation.
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