May 4, 2020 / 7:46 AM / 22 days ago

UK refuses to comment on intelligence dossier on China's coronavirus response

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s defence minister on Monday declined to comment on media reports that a dossier by the U.S.-led Five Eyes intelligence consortium had said that China lied about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Australian Saturday Telegraph said the 15-page Five Eyes report claimed China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency” that cost tens of thousands of lives.

Asked about the report on BBC Radio, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Every day I get intelligence bulletins from our agencies around the world. I don’t comment on individual bulletins, what I have and haven’t seen. That would be wrong.”

The Five Eyes – which groups Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - evolved from a secret World War Two alliance between British and U.S. cypher and code breaking teams. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young)

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