LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s Dec. 12 election and the country’s impending departure from the European Union (all times local):
Even though the British government desperately wants to leave the EU, the bloc itself desperately wants a new U.K. Commissioner on its executive team, even if only for a few months.
EU Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has given British Prime Minister Boris Johnson until the end of the week to come up with a candidate to fill the void at the EU executive, which must have a representative from each member nation.
Even if Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the 28-nation EU by Jan. 31, it would create a legal issue of the U.K. did not have a Commissioner in the meantime.
“Time is running out. This is why the president-elect is expecting an answer very soon,” said spokeswoman Dana Spinant. “At any rate, before the end of this week,” she added.
The EU Commission under von der Leyen is slated to start its work on Dec. 1.
Britain’s Labour Party says it has experienced a “sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack” on its digital platforms.
The main opposition party says the attack did not succeed, because of “robust security systems.” The party is confident that no data breach occurred. The party has referred the matter to the National Cyber Security Centre.
Britain is holding a national election on Dec. 12 but is struggling with election laws that have not yet been updated to face the digital age.
The former chair of the British Parliament digital committee, Damian Collins, has been appealing for a coordinated approach across all parts of government to combat disinformation and protect the electoral system.
The work has heaped pressure on social media companies, who have faced global scrutiny following allegations that London-based political consultant Cambridge Analytica used data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts to profile voters and help U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she’s “dumbfounded” the U.K. government has failed to release a report on Russian influence in British politics as the country prepares for national elections.
Clinton told the BBC in an interview broadcast Monday that the public needs to know what is in the report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. The government said it needs more time to consider the report before releasing it to the public, but critics claim the report has been withheld until the next Parliament because it is embarrassing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
“I’m dumbfounded that this government won’t release the report … because every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” Clinton said.
An American investigation into the 2016 U.S. presidential election found “sweeping and systemic” interference.
Bill Browder, a former investment manager in Russia, told the BBC he gave the committee evidence on wealthy Russians working to influence British politics.
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