Sunak Vowed To Keep Brits Safe – But His Party Had An Accidental Data Breach Hours Before

Another blow for the beleaguered PM and his reputation.
Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on national security at the Policy Exchange on May 13, 2024 in London, England.
Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on national security at the Policy Exchange on May 13, 2024 in London, England.
Carl Court via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak’s pledge to keep the UK safe fell rather flat after the Conservative Party admitted to accidentally leaking hundreds of email addresses.

The prime minister tried to make national security and defence a cornerstone of the next general election on Monday, as he framed the Tories as the safest bet to protect Britain.

In a speech at the Policy Exchange think tank, he said: “The choice at the next election is: who do you trust to keep you safe?”

Perhaps he was not aware of what had unfolded just a few hours before.

The Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) sent an email to hundreds of people yet to finish their registrations for this year’s conference asking them to submit their completed applications.

However, the party mistakenly made this request using the “CC” button – not the “BCC”, meaning everyone who received the email could see everyone else’s email addresses.

That could end up being a pretty big breach of GDPR and could lead to a hefty fine for the Conservatives.

According to the associate political editor at the New Statesman, Rachel Cunliffe, this email was sent to 344 people – including MPs.

She posted a screenshot of the email on X, and asked: “Did anyone else just get this email, ostensibly from CCHQ, which has CCd rather then BCCd its recipients and thus shared hundreds of personal email addresses?”

Her screenshot revealed there were grammatical and spelling errors in the email, which can normally be a sign of spam or phishing.

But the Tories did later confirm the message came from them.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue relating to a conference registration email and are currently investigating the cause of this.

“We apologise to those affected and have self-reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.”

According to the Evening Standard’s chief political correspondent, Rachael Burford, the party later emailed all recipients and acknowledged there was an “error” in the original email.

It added: “Please accept our sincere apologies for this. We have taken steps to ensure that this issue does not happen again.”


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