THERESA MAY was accused of seeking to distract attention from her government’s failings yesterday after claiming that Russia has been seeking to “sow discord in the West” by “meddling” in elections and spreading fake news.
The Prime Minister referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday night, blustering: “We know what you are doing.”
At the Lord Mayor’s banquet at the Guildhall in the City of London, she attacked Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea from Ukraine and added: “Since then, Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbass, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption.
“This has included meddling in elections and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defence and the Bundestag, among many others.
“It is seeking to weaponise information — deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and Photoshopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions.”
But journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark said Ms May and US politicians who have made similar claims were “attributing to others what they are guilty of themselves.”
He referred to a database compiled by Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin showing that Washington has meddled in around 80 foreign elections since World War II and Britain interfered in votes in Iran and Yugoslavia.
Mr Clark continued: “Her claims are hypocritical and based on hearsay, as the evidence is non-existent.
“She’s trying to pretend she’s strong and stable, but this is her last blast to get us angry with Russia for the failings of her own government.
“What was not in her speech were promises to cap energy bills and rail fares. She’s making up external enemies when the real enemies are closer to home.
“People are not going to buy this politics of mass distraction.”