As the SKWAWKBOX showed yesterday, Unite challenger Gerard Coyne’s claim on BBC national radio that his use of Labour Party data – a clear breach of the DPA (Data Protection Act) – had ‘concluded’ was patently false. Emails were still being sent yesterday – and more have been sent today, a full week after his claim.
However, Coyne had still further to sink – and in doing so, he’s killed one possibility that some were trying to float to mitigate Labour HQ’s part in the breach (although in fact it would only have meant multiplying the number of breaches).
One of the people first identified by this blog as receiving illegal emails from the Coyne campaign was Andy Whiteman. Like the others who have been receiving Coyne’s emails because their Labour membership data was illegally released, Andy has never been a member of Unite.
He has received Coyne’s emails throughout the campaign – and received a further message yesterday – the same generic message that has been going out to members and non-members of Unite alike:
Some have argued that the release of data to the Coyne may have been on the part of smaller, local Labour organisations – something already evidently untrue, as the geographical locations of those affected are spread nationally.
And now internationally. Because Andy lives in the small Central American country of Costa Rica.
Andy is a member of Labour International, effectively a CLP (constituency Labour party) for any Labour members who live abroad. Members are spread around the world and are eligible to vote in Labour elections for the leadership, the NEC and so on.
It’s clearer than ever that there have been data breaches by one or more person at Labour’s HQ, as well as of the data compiled by Owen Smith’s ill-fated leadership bid last year.
Emailing Costa Rica also underlines the inherent incompetence of Coyne and his campaign, as well as their willingness to use data to which they have no legal right. Any Labour Party data will include the CLP of each member, as this is core data that will be held in any dataset.
So Coyne’s team will have been able to see that Andy Whiteman doesn’t live in the UK. If they bothered to cross-check their data they would have seen that he is not in Unite‘s database, because he has never been a member.
And yet still they emailed him asking him to vote for their candidate – six timezones away.
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