Analysis Exclusive

McKinnell’s survey email to members raises concerns of another ‘moderate’ campaign in breach of GDPR

Is email without legally required information one-off or latest wider defensive move by Labour right?
The McKinnell survey’s header

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:

The page does not provide any information about who will receive and use the data submitted, linking only to SurveyMonkey’s generic privacy policy. GDPR data protection laws require ‘data controller’ information to be disclosed so individuals know who will have access to data and whom to contact to obtain a copy of data held.

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 ( 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

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  1. If this MP is facing deselection you can’t blame her for trying to avoid it but frankly what good will her efforts do now ?
    No MP who has honoured our manifesto commitments, respected the membership by accepting and supporting the leader we democratically elected twice, refrained from referring to us as dogs, scum,entryists, mobs, Trots, Stalinists, antisemites, Communists etc, has done their best to work for a Corbyn led government, hasn’t leaked like a sieve to the hostile MSM, hasn’t used violent or obscene language to or about colleagues has nothing to worry about.
    MPs who engaged in arrogant,hostile, aggressive or non comradely behaviour need to start packing their bags because their disgusted CLPs now have the means to deselect them and have every right to do so. Sending out surveys or setting up a few meetings is not going to save the majority of them.

  2. We all know what needs to be done ✔ …..Bring on the expulsion and inform the correct authorities to the breach of data from outside sources!……..Will this happen……?

  3. Proceeduralism and the dark arts from those who perhaps are devoid of ideas?
    The Left needs to get organised for democratic selections and it seems that some of the Right may be trying to ride a coach & horses through GDPR?
    I would wholeheartedly recommend voting for Pro-JC left wing democratic socialist PCCs.

  4. I speak as a person who lived in Newcastle/Gateshead and North Tyneside and was an activist on the left for 25 years between 1979 and 2004. During that time I was close to various Labour MPs including Mo Mowlam, Jim Cousins and Bob Clay, plus Mo O’Toole MEP who were all personal friends. I also knew well and worked with/for Harry Cowans, Nick Brown, Steve Byers, Alan Milburn, Alan Campbell (MPs) and Gordon Adam MEP. One current NE MP is also a very old friend but shall remain nameless here.

    I parted ways with Labour after Blair became leader and clause 4 was ditched. Some others aforementioned took a different view and did quite well out of it.

    I would always defend Nick Brown, he is the very model of discretion and how an MP should behave, regardless of any divergence with the opinions of others.

    McKinnell was first elected in 2010 with 40.8% of the vote (10% down on former MP Doug Henderson’s share in 2005). She increased the majority in 2015 with 46.1% of the vote but reached a massive 55.4% of the vote in the 2017 election thanks to the popularity of Labour’s manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn.

    Despite this, McKinnell saw fit to join the ragbag of jewish neo-fascists and right-wing stooges of the so-called jewish leadership council demonstrating against Corbyn outside parliament (the “for the many, not the jew” demo). She has never missed an opportunity to put the boot into Corbyn and other socialists in the party.

    McKinnell is clearly ungrateful but she is also either extremely stupid or extremely reactionary, neither of which are qualifications for a decent Labour MP.

    There are numerous NE Labour reps who really deserve to be deselected but Cat McKinnell (closely followed by Anna Turley) should be top of the list.

    1. It’s a while since I’ve heard Bob Clay’s name mentioned. I worked with him and others from all over the country when he was Reg Keys’ agent trying to get Blair ousted after the Iraq war. We did well but the Labour vote was so strong that Blair had it sewn up.

      1. I didn’t see eye to eye with of loads of things with Bob and his wife Ute (from the GDR) – I regarded him in some ways as an irredeemable, slightly suspect, middle class Trot – but the the truth is we were close and still would be – because his heart was in the right place. Compare Bob with Ian Austin or Jess Phillips and it is not difficult to understand the predicament we face today.

      2. “Compare Bob with Ian Austin or Jess Phillips and it is not difficult to understand the predicament we face today.”

        We often disagree, but your comment put me in mind of friends in the Party with whom I had differences on important issues, but with whom I would happily share a comradely trench … and those who said all the right words but gave that pain between the shoulder blades. It’s not as simple as ‘right/left’ political verbiage.

        I miss the friendship of the formidable (‘notorious’ to some) Walter Harrison, even though we might not have been always at one politically. On the other hand, I’ve been stitched up by colleagues who would – notionally – have signed up to most of the same agenda.

        I would even say that there has been the odd Tory that I would have trusted more than some sitting on the same side of the chamber. One thing Churchill got right re. ‘opponents’ and ‘enemies’.

    2. The groundwork for ditching Clause 4 was done by Jack Straw before Blair became leader. He writes about it in his memoirs.

      It is possible, therefore, that Blair would not have dared to do it had it not been for him.

  5. are the rules different under PR system, so if they go rogue they can be replaced from pool of candidates,
    still have no clue why MP’s cannot be sacked now
    not a democracy if former PM,s/other countries are pulling strings

    1. Doug….It’s defiantly not a democracy.The country has not even the basic necessary for a democracy……How can it ever change with socialist………(so called)running round with knighthood,barronesses and Lord’s Public schools for the offspring to carry on the elite tradition and swearing loyalty too the royalty,rather than the people.We work with what we’ve got but let’s not kid ourselves The UK is an elitist run entity!

  6. I got a similar email from Lucy Powell, Manchester Central, asking me whether “I support Lucy continuing as our MP” or not. This was followed up by a text telling me that she “wanted to know” if I support her and to text YES, NO or D if I was unsure. I was advised by my local branch that this was nothing irregular and that I could ignore both email and text if I chose to. So it’s all above board, apparently.

  7. if I was going to start a politics business, the last people I would employ would be politicians,
    there is cheap and nasty blood all over the carpet, walls and curtains
    good time to call a VONC methinks

  8. what about taking advantage of Mayhem in tories to do some housework ourselves
    in no particular order TWatson, P/Dame/JVL/LFI/Lansman/
    enjoy its been a long time coming

    1. I beg to differ. The removal of the likes of McKinnell is a pressing task. If you don’t deal with them now, Nuke Airburst and friends will deal with you sooner.

    2. Joe…..get back in your box.You wouldn’t recognise truthful journalism if it bit you…..which it clearly does!

  9. I live in Blutcher and she is my MP, local labour party members all tell me they are not happy with her anti Corbyn stance, and a trigger ballot is 100% certain.

  10. Night of the long knives at Number 10 – and we get called Stalinist for saying we’d quite like to replace a few Quislings if nobody objects …
    Looks like wall-to-wall Brexfanatics in the Johnson cabinet apart from Javid.

    1. Blowjob apparently has admitted that he wanted to be King of The World as a child – has anyone thought to ask him if he still wants that?
      With his Aryan appearance (unless it’s DYED!?) and dual UK/US citizenship he might actually see his present office as a rung on the ladder to world domination.
      Being a bit thick he’s well behind schedule so he’ll have to step up the pace (he’s 55 already and Hitler was Chancellor at 44) meaning he’ll do whatever Trump wants on Iran…

  11. What totally pisses me is that whilst our Party is being diverted by this sort of stuff coupled with a failure to get to grips with the MSM AS narrative and clarity over Brexit, we have a change of executive that now comprises :

    “A cabinet of shits, charlatans and shysters. One in which having been previously sacked for lying was almost a precondition.”

    (Despite writing for the Groan, John Crace delivers the goods)

    … where Labour should be piling into the main enemy with an excess of targets to the front and sides.

    FFS : (not even the first to come to mind) – Gormless Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary wearing short trousers And Austin and Patel joined in matrimony to schmooze Israel! The whole thing is a satire in magic lantern tableaux.

    Scottie .!!!!!!!!!

  12. I’m not saying it’s not truthful journalism. What I am saying is articles like this won’t win us a General election. We need to be targeting Johnson and his policies. All our efforts should be concentrated on that.

    1. “Policies?” I wouldn’t dignify tax cuts for the rich as “policy.”
      The EU won’t allow him a honeymoon period – they’ll be on his back already.
      Brexit always was a poisoned chalice. The Tories are like consumptives coughing into their handkerchiefs in some sanatorium.
      Let them rot.
      Our efforts should be concentrated on strengthening our own party for now. We’ve boils to lance and scabs to pick.

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