A huge furore has erupted among Labour members about the illegal release of their data to Gerard Coyne, which he has used in his campaign to become General Secretary of the Unite union. Coyne admitted today on live radio that his campaign had used data received from the Labour Party – although he tried, wrongly. to claim this was ‘agreed’ and ‘legitimate’.
The Labour staff or officials involved in the breach have no excuse – because the party was formally warned by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office in 2016 that it could not even release data to candidates in Labour’s own internal elections, such as last year’s leadership contest:
This means that every Labour member whose data was released to the Coyne campaign has been a victim of an illegal abuse of their privacy – regardless of whether they are Unite members or not.
There is no ‘wiggle room’ on this for Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol or any other official responsible for investigating this matter and punishing those responsible – nor for the ICO to do less than the maximum its powers allow to ensure that this happens.
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