Boris Johnson has said there is “no evidence” of Russian interference in UK politics, amid calls for the government to release a report on the subject before the general election.
The prime minister said there was “no reason” to change “normal procedures” in publishing Parliament’s Intelligence Security Committee report.
Its chairman Dominic Grieve says the document, finalised in March, contains information relevant to voters.
Labour is calling for its release.
The report includes evidence from UK intelligence services concerning alleged Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election.
The process for clearing it on security grounds was completed in the middle of October, but it has since been with Downing Street awaiting final release.
The prime minister was asked during a question-and-answer session on BBC Radio 5 Live why he was not publishing the report before the 12 December election.
He replied: “Because I see absolutely no reason to change the normal procedures for publishing ISC (Intelligence Security Committee) reports just because there is an election.”
When he was told the documents were cleared for release on 17 October, Mr Johnson said the publication process was “not normally” any quicker, adding: “There’s no reason to change the procedures.”
On the possibility there was Russian interference in UK politics, he said: “There’s no evidence of that and you’ve got to be very careful… you simply can’t cast aspersions on everybody who comes from a certain country, just because of their nationality.”
When he asked how many Russian oligarchs donate to the Conservative Party, Mr Johnson said: “All donations to the Conservative Party are properly vetted, properly publicised.
“I’ll leave it to your teams of researchers to bring that fact before us. It’s all there in the public.”
He said all donations were “properly vetted” and “open to challenge”.
It is understood Mr Grieve had hoped to publish the report on 28 October.
The committee heard evidence from UK intelligence agencies such as GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 about Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 general election.
Previous disclosures would suggest these Russian activities did not match the scale of those directed against the 2016 US presidential election, and even in that case, there is considerable debate about how far people were actually influenced by these actions.
Mr Grieve has previously told the BBC that the report is “informative” and “people are entitled to information”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said: “If a report has been called for and written, and it should be in the public domain, then what have they got to hide?”