Labour party leadership contender, Keir Starmer, has been accused of breaching data protection laws in his bid to replace Jeremy Corby as party leader.
It is understood that the Labour party has formally reported Starmer’s leadership campaign team to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The Labour party has accused Starmer and his team of “data scrapping”, in other words hacking information from a membership database with a view to securing their support.
The ICO is an independent regulatory office charged with upholding the Data Protection Act 2018 and broader information rights.
Starmer has written to the party to deny the accusations and insisting – rather oddly – that his campaign team was merely “penetrating” the relevant database without the intention to actually utilize it.
The serious accusations against Starmer and his team come on the heels of similar – and now discredited – claims against the rival campaign team of Rebecca Long-Bailey.
It is believed the discredited claim against Long-Bailey’s campaign team was orchestrated by the former Labour MP and chair of Starmer’s campaign, Jenny Chapman.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics programme, Chapman flatly denied any wrongdoing in relation to Starmer’s campaign.
“This isn’t even a situation where you say some over-enthusiastic young volunteers may have done it [the hacking] … it didn’t happen”, Chapman maintained.
The Labour party leadership race is set to conclude in early April.