Labour has reported former party MP Joan Ryan to the Information Commissioner for an alleged misuse of data.
Ms Ryan denies it but there is strong evidence against her – as the Skwawkbox stated a few days ago. It seems to have been excellent information.
Certainly, it seems someone connected to Ms Ryan, if not Ms Ryan herself, must have used Labour’s Contact Creator and Organise software to create and send an email to party supporters – after she had resigned the Labour whip.
But Ms Ryan’s claim, as quoted in The Guardian – that “neither I nor my office have accessed or used any Labour party data since I resigned the Labour whip and my membership of the Labour party” – means that she cannot be absolved of guilt if it turns out to have been one of her staff.
And if the crime is traced back to her, there could be international repercussions.
Ms Ryan was (and may still be, by all accounts) the chair of Labour Friends of Israel, in whose name she has already been found to have acted dishonestly, in smearing a Palestine Solidarity Campaign member as an anti-Semite.
Her position has made her the strongest ally of the Israeli government in the UK’s Parliament, as the manufactured “anti-Semitism” crisis has allowed LFI to push pro-Israel policies onto Labour in ways that have not been possible with other parties, like the Conservatives.
But that work will be for nothing if she is found to be connected with data theft – which is a crime.
Such a revelation would cast doubt on every comment and claim she has made in her role as LFI chair. It may even give rise to uncomfortable questions about her relationship with the government of Israel.
(It would certainly create doubt about the validity of any claims she has made about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.)
And at a time when many citizens of the UK are starting to ask serious questions about the amount of involvement Israel may have in our affairs, I wonder of that country’s government would be able to tolerate such a blow to its credibility.