By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 21 March 2022 • 13:45
Following an inquiry into the recent hoax calls to cabinet ministers, Downing Street has confirmed Russia was responsible. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people not to share any videos of the hoax calls, not to play into the hands of Moscow by spreading disinformation.
Last week the government revealed that a number of ministers had received hoax calls, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace being video called by an imposter posing as Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Wallace, an ex-soldier, decided to go public after the embarrassing attempted sting because of fears the Kremlin may try to distort any footage or audio material to undermine the UK and NATO’s efforts in Ukraine.
Since Wallace went public, Home Secretary Priti Patel also revealed that she too was recently targeted by a hoax caller.
The prime minister’s spokesperson said on Monday 21st that: “The Russian state was responsible for the hoax telephone calls made to UK ministers last week.
“This is standard practice for Russian information operations, and disinformation is a tactic straight from the Kremlin playbook – to try and distract from the illegal activities in Ukraine and the human rights abuses being committed.”
The spokesperson also confirmed that the calls should never happened given protocols and as a result an internal investigation has been launched.
He added: “We are urging people not to aid the Russian state’s efforts to undermine the international community’s response to what’s happening in Ukraine by highlighting this or promoting it in any way.”
The calls are somewhat of an embarrassment for the government and Downing Street who confirmed that Russia was responsible for the Cabinet hoax calls will want to understand how they could’ve happened and what remedial action will need to be taken.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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