If you’ve had an email from #Coyne and you’re not in Unite, put a note here

Since the article earlier about the likely DPA breaches involved in Gerard Coyne’s emails to non-Unite members, I’ve had reports from a number of people that they’re in the same boat.


If you’re not a Unite member and you’ve received campaign emails from Coyne, please put a note in the comments – include a mention of your Labour membership or otherwise.

Details will be collated and sent to the Information Commissioner to investigate the breach. Thank you.

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  1. I rejoined Labour in support of JC as riposte to Blair/Iraq
    Today I had a message from Unite. See my tweet @welshgoldigger
    I was a member of NASUWT as a teacher for 25 years.
    I have saved the emails and my reply.
    Very worried about information gathering.

  2. I had an email from Coyne a couple weeks ago. I deleted it unfortunately, I thought nothing of it. I’m a Labour member, just renewed, but not a Unite member. I did join Unite briefly last year when it was seen as a way for new members to vote for Corbyn, but withdrew this immediately when that loophole got closed so paid no dues.

  3. I have had 2 emails from Coyne … one a couple of weeks ago and the other yesterday which though deleted can be recovered if you need to see it. I am a new LP member (since July 2016) but not a member of Unite so I did wonder how they got my name/email address.

  4. I AM a member of Unite but got an email from Coyne asking me to support him and then adding, ‘If you’re not a member of Unite and want to join, click here.’ Funnily enough I got it the same day the Tom Watson/Momentum non-story broke!

  5. Like several others above, I am a member of the LP but have no connection with Unite whatsoever but have received these emails. I have already sent a letter to the ICO with copies of the e-mails. I am a Citizens Advice adviser and have asked ICO if the e-mails breech the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

    1. Having contacted the Labour Party, I have received a reply to the effect that although there is no evidence that the information emanates from the party he will remind all data holders that they are required to keep members’ details confidential. Two points come to mind: if there is no evidence why is he going to the trouble of ‘reminding’ people and secondly, surely the fact that so many recipients of these emails are Labour Party members represents evidence that someone in the party is the source.

      1. Thanks for the info – it’s not ‘so many’, it’s all, though. It’s not the Labour data controller’s place to decide whether there’s evidence, either – that will be for the ICO. There’ve been rumours for ages of a mutual support deal between Coyne and certain Labour figures. I don’t think it can realistically be asserted that the data aren’t likely to be via a Labour leak, so I fully agree with your ‘why trouble himself’ assessment.

  6. I’m not a member of Unite and I had an email from Coyne on 16/3/17 asking me to vote for him. I replied asking how they got my email address and have had no reply.

  7. Susan Ram, L1408923
    Like other respondents, I have received two emails from Coyne in the past two weeks. A party member since 2015, I am not a member of UNITE: in fact I’m semi-retired and living in France!

  8. Sorry, should have said that ‘he’ is John Stolliday, Data Controller of the Labour Party.

  9. I am a Labour Party member and I have received at least one email from Coyne addressed to me as a Unite member. However I have only ever been a member of UCU (and its two earlier constituent unions). Incidentally I have twice voted against Corbyn and would probably vote for Coyne if I were a Unite member. But I am concerned by this apparent breach of data protection, particularly as it is unlikely to help make the case for union e-balloting.

  10. Third email from Coyne today asking for my vote even though not a member of Unite

    1. I have now received 3 emails from Coyne. I have contacted the ICO and Unite executive now have copies of them.

  11. And I sent a letter to Unite by recorded delivery which they received on Monday asking for an explanation wthin 10 days. No reply so far even though I mentioned a breech in the DPA

    1. Christine
      It is not Unite which is sending the e-mails – I know a member of their executive and he assures me they are trying to get to the bottom of it.
      I have been informed by the ICO that they are actively investigating. Their suggestion is that you reply to the e-mail and insist they desist from sending any further emails. Additionally demand to know the provenance of their information by using the phrase ‘subject access request’. In law they must provide the information within 40 days.
      ICO confirmed that the sender of the e-mails may well be in breach of the law as detailed in my first e-mail (Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003).
      Ray Johnson

      1. Ray, could you send me a copy of that ICO email/letter? So far, I’ve had nothing back from them in response to the information sent, but they must be investigating.

      2. Hi Skwawkbox
        The letter I received from ICO was really only a standard acknowledgement (I’ll e-mail it to you on Monday as I don’t have scanning capability at home). This was followed up by a telephone call from ‘Aidan’ who provided me with the info I have passed on to you. He gave me a reference no. (ENQ0675161) although whether that is the reference for the entire investigation or more specifically to me, I don’t know. Aidan also provided me with a tel. no. 01625 545 827 and e-mail address casework@ico.org.uk. All in all Aidan was very helpful and encouraging.
        Hope this helps.

  12. I had received two emails from Coyne, entitled manifesto for change. I have never signed up for these nor have I been a member of any union during my working life. Are these the type of emails you mean? Sorry about replying so late, but I’d only just remembered them. And also I still have them in my inbox.

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