British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being sued by a bipartisan group of MPs and colleagues for alleged interference in the Russian elections.
The group says Johnson has failed to fulfill his duty to ensure free and fair elections and is calling for a judicial review of government behavior.
“We don’t ask much, just that the Prime Minister do his duty to protect Britain and our elections by ordering an investigation into Russian interference,” said Lord Strasburger, Peer of the Liberal Democrats.
The group known as Citizens believe the government has violated its obligations under Article 3 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which protects the right of every citizen to free and fair elections and the Inquiries Act 2005.
The move follows the release of a report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) which found the government had not even looked for evidence of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The report described “credible evidence” of interference and called for new legislation that the Official Secrets Act was no longer functional and that there was no single body primarily responsible for keeping democratic processes in the UK safe from hostile interference Protect abroad.
“The Prime Minister’s occasional rejection of the Russia report is deliberately irresponsible. Attempts to undermine Western democracies have continued and we must learn from past events so that we can ensure that our electoral processes are robust enough to to withstand possible future interference. ” “says the Green MP Caroline Lucas.
“The sovereignty and security of our country and the integrity of our democracy are at stake, and it cannot go unchallenged that this government is deliberately turning a blind eye.”
The group can point out indications of cyber attacks, disinformation and influence on campaigns. Bots and trolls have pushed pro-Brexit, anti-EU stories online, and advertisements and fake accounts have been used to target people with disinformation.
“Our clients, who hold a range of political views, are taking these breakthrough legal measures to protect the right of UK citizens to free and fair elections under Article 3 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Tessa Gregor, partner at Leigh Day law firm who represents the group.
“They are calling on the court to intervene to ensure that the government fulfills its legal obligation to independently investigate credible allegations of Russian interference and to adequately protect future elections from interference from abroad.”