TWO groups leading the campaign to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are facing an investigation over hacking claims.
The Blairite Progress faction and the secretive Saving Labour group, which has not declared either its leadership or funders, have been referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) — the independent body that deals with data protection — after inciting supporters to illegally use Labour Party data in their campaign against Mr Corbyn.
Progress gave step-by-step instructions on how to harvest private information of current and former members from an official database in a breach of the Data Protection Act.
“One of our best chances to recruit Labour members will be trying to get those who left the party because of the current leadership,” the groups wrote in an email to members.
Labour activists who received the emails raised the alarm over the scandal, which has been branded #HackingLabour on social media.
An ICO spokesman told the Star: “We are aware of concerns about the use of Labour membership data and will be making enquiries.”
Labour has confirmed it has been contacted by the ICO and required to give “written assurances that measures will be put in place to prevent unsolicited direct marketing, including in internal elections.”
The party called for a moratorium on access to the database for anything other than official Labour business until the end of the leadership contest and warned: “Any members using Labour Party membership data in an unauthorised way will be referred to the ICO and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Progress responded to the warning yesterday by removing a hacking how-to from its website.