By Deirdre Tynan • 28 June 2021 • 14:27
Labour's Angela Rayner.
The Labour party has called for a ‘full-scale investigation’ into Ministers’ use of private emails for official government business.
The move follows reports in this weekend’s Sunday Times that the former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and Lord Bethell, who sponsored Hancock’s lover Gina Coladangelo, for a post in government, used private email accounts.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has also called for the recovery of any emails that would be relevant to a public inquiry into the pandemic response.
“The buck doesn’t stop with Hancock. This government is rotten to its core,” she said on June 28.
“Demanding to know whether private emails have been used to discuss government contracts and whether the use of private emails potentially breaks Official Secrets Act, Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act and Public Records Act.
“This shady practice has the potential to conceal vital information of public interest and cover up the waste of taxpayers’ money that has been given to friends of Conservative Ministers. We need to know how wide this goes and how much government business is being conducted in secret,” she added.
Asked on BBC Breakfast this morning whether the use of private emails could pose a risk and lead to government information being compromised, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland replied, “I agree.”
Rayner said, “It’s staggering that a government minister has admitted that the Tory party could be putting national security at risk by carrying out government business on private emails but hasn’t said that Ministers are going to do anything about it.
“We already know that hostile actors target Ministers’ private email accounts to access sensitive information. We need a full independent inquiry to get to the bottom of how wide this goes, whether Ministers have put our national security at risk and what steps will be taken to protect vital information and our country’s security,” she added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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