THE UK government has accused the Russians of interfering in last year’s General Election. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has told MPs that they believe Moscow was behind a leak of documents about a possible UK-US trade negotiation.

The papers, posted on Reddit, caused a huge stir during the campaign, with Labour saying they showed the NHS would be at risk under a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

In a written statement, Raab said: “During the 2019 General Election a cross-Government election security cell was stood up to coordinate responses to threats and hazards relating to the election.

“On the basis of extensive analysis, the Government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.

“Sensitive Government documents relating to the UK-US Free Trade Agreement were illicitly acquired before the 2019 General Election and disseminated online via the social media platform Reddit. When these gained no traction, further attempts were made to promote the illicitly acquired material online in the run up to the General Election.

“Whilst there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election, any attempt to interfere in our democratic processes is completely unacceptable. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections.”

The dossier was initially posted on Reddit in November, but was little noticed. It was only when Jeremy Corbyn used them to attack the Tories that they gained media attention.  

The then Labour leader said the papers were evidence that the UK Government was in advanced stages of negotiations with the US to open up the NHS to American pharmaceutical companies.

Raab’s announcement comes just hours after it was revealed the long-awaited report into alleged Russian interference in British politics is to be published next week.

The delay in publishing the report, which was completed last year, has led to speculation that it contains details embarrassing for the Tories.

The UK Government has always denied that political considerations were involved.