TOWN hall documents have not fallen into the hands of Russian agents, councillors have been reassured.

Cllr Zoe Kirk-Robinson expressed concerns at Wednesday's full council meeting that Bolton Council computers have previously used the Kaspersky anti-virus software, which was reportedly hijacked by Russian hackers to trawl for American government documents.

She said: "Can we be sure that similar 'document sniffing' during anti-virus scans wasn't undertaken here in the UK, in Bolton in particular?

"If it was, what steps have been undertaken to ensure documentation held in this council was not acquired by agents of the Russian government?"

Labour's Cllr Ebrahim Adia responded that the council has not used Kaspersky software for some time and that the town hall is confident that none of its documents have been compromised.

Kaspersky Lab has denied allegations that it was complicit in Russian state cyber operations.