Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald has spoken exclusively to the SKWAWKBOX about the recent scandals of the Labour/Gerard Coyne data breach and the related attempt by employed right-wing Labour members, including at least one MP, to join Unite‘s ‘Community‘ section for unwaged members in order to gain a vote in Unite’s election of its General Secretary.
Mr McDonald, a union lawyer and Unite member whose constituency neighbours that of the MP known to have joined Unite as an unwaged member, was appalled by the data breach and when he learned of the Community move. He did not wish to comment on the MP’s case specifically, but said this about the issues in general:
That’s incredibly disappointing. A data breach is an extremely serious matter and for people to claim to be unwaged when they’re not, just to join a union to try to defeat one candidate, just beggars belief.
In party terms, both of these matters need to be investigated and anyone found to be involved should sanctioned to the full extent available. There are also legal ramifications, but those would be a matter for the Information Commissioner, Unite and potentially the police.
The SKWAWKBOX understands that Unite‘s internal investigation is ongoing but unlikely to report until after the General Secretary election is concluded.
Labour HQ is currently denying any breach, but evidence indicates breaches at a national level (and even involving Labour International).
The Information Commissioner’s Office has acknowledged receipt of an array of complaints and related information and that the matter has been allocated to a casework team for investigation.
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