Russian hackers “probably” swayed the EU referendum vote in favour of Brexit, a former Labour minister has claimed in the Commons.
UNITED KINGDOM, Labour Party – Brexit — Leading Remain campaigner Ben Bradshaw questioned the validity of the result in June, claiming people were underestimating the extent of cyber warfare by Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Sky News.
His extraordinary claim came in an emergency Commons debate on the latest developments in Syria, where President Bashar Assad’s Russian-backed forces have been storming the city of Aleppo.
But his allegation was given short shrift by Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, who responded: “I have not come across any evidence that Russian cyber warfare was used to influence the referendum.”
Mr Bradshaw, dismissed as a “Remoaner” by Leave campaigners, told MPs: “I don’t think we have even begun to wake up to what Russia is doing when it comes to cyber warfare.
“Not only their interference, now proven, in the American presidential campaign, probably in our own referendum last year.”
He added: “We don’t have the evidence for that yet, but I think it’s highly probable.
“Certainly in the French presidential election, they will be involved, and there are already serious concerns in the German secret service that Russia is already interfering in the elections coming up.
“We’ve got to wake up to this.”
Earlier this week, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said there was “a disturbing pattern” of allegations against Russia around cyber warfare.
He pointed to examples in Bulgaria, the referendum in the Netherlands and its continuing pressure on the Baltic states.
But Mrs May’s spokesman said on Mr Bradshaw’s claim: “The referendum was run in this country, it was a very clear vote and we are now getting on with delivering on the will of the people to take Britain out of the European Union.”