Diary - Russian spies target organisations developing a coronavirus vaccine

The spotlight has been on China in recent days, but that's now moved to Russia. The security services have warned that Russian spies are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US and Canada. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre said the hackers "almost certainly" operated as "part of Russian intelligence services". It did not specify which organisations had been targeted, or whether any information had been stolen. There is no doubt that cyber is the new weapon and both Russia and China are using it with relish. It's something we in the West need to counter. Took some time to prepare for a meeting with business minister Amanda Solloway, council CEO Matt Prosser and entrepreneur John Vickers, the MD of Blue Abyss. Mr Vickers is trying to establish a deep pool facility at the enterprise zone in Winfrith. It's hoped the facility would attract a range of businesses, from defence to space. The minister listened carefully to the presentation and we intend to follow up on her helpful comments and observations. Our weekly police conference call was, as always, informative. We've decided to move to circa monthly meetings rather than weekly. I was amazed to hear that the Court of Appeal has ruled that Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to fight the decision to remove her British citizenship. Her citizenship was revoked by the Home Office on security grounds after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019. The Court of Appeal said she had been denied a fair hearing because she could not make her case from the Syrian camp. The decision does put the judiciary up against the Home Office, something the latter will no doubt look at.