Is email without legally required information one-off or latest wider defensive move by Labour right?
Newcastle North MP Cat McKinnell – or someone on her behalf – has emailed local Labour members asking them to complete a survey including a question on her performance and one on opinion of Labour’s leadership. Local members say the local party (CLP) leadership was not consulted or informed before the mailing was sent.
After a number of generic questions on local and national ‘focus’, the survey then asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with McKinnell – and with the party’s national leadership:
The use of ‘Catherine McKinnell’ and ‘Catherine McKinnell MP’ throughout the email, instead of the less formal and more commonly used ‘Cat’, may suggest that it is part of a centralised centrist campaign rather than one sent by the MP herself or her own team.
The survey also contains a question asking which ‘affiliated unions/political organisations’ each respondent belongs to, even though several listed – Momentum, Progress and Labour First – are not affiliated to the party.
However, anyone wishing to respond has to provide not only a name, but full contact details. While all the other questions are option, the field requiring name, email and phone number are tagged with an asterisk, indicating all fields must be completed before submission:
A source in the local party told the SKWAWKBOX:
We didn’t know anything about this until it arrived and it looks like preparation for an attempt to fight off a trigger.
Certainly the details of unions and other organisations would be a useful indicator of how likely a member would be to support a full selection contest, as would the satisfaction responses. The requirement to enter personal details, with no information provided about who will be receiving or using it, is a serious concern and a breach of GDPR data laws.
If the email has been sent from a central team, rather than by the MP or her team, it opens the possibility of another data breach in the provision or obtaining of members’ details to or by an unknown party for purposes for which they have not given consent.
Earlier this month, the SKWAWKBOX revealed that right-wing Labour MPs – or more likely a centralised operation on their behalf – were sending text messages and emails that raised similar concerns, ahead of the deadline for them to say whether they wished to stand again at the next general election.
Is this survey a Cat McKinnell initiative or another coordinated central push to protect right-wing Labour MPs?
The SKWAWKBOX asked Ms McKinnell:
1. The survey asks for personal details including name, email address and phone number, but does not provide any details of who will receive or use the detail. Who sent the link to members, yourself/your office or others on your behalf and if so, who?
2. Who will receive and use the data?
3. GDPR laws (http://www.privacy-regulation.eu/en/13.htm) require data controller details to be provided if personal information is collected, among other things so that people can obtain copies of data held. This survey does not provide controller details or any information about who will receive and use the data. GDPR fines can be very large – are you concerned that you may incur a liability?
4. Why have you (or someone on your behalf) sent the survey now?
5. Are you worried that your members will ‘trigger‘ you?
She had not responded by the time of publication.
Are you a Labour member who has received a similar email from your MP? Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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