It’s all going wrong at The Sunday Times, where its investigation – if you can call it that – into anti-Semitism at the Labour Party should soon have a nasty collision with the law of the land.
Today’s (April 14) revelation is that Labour MP Margaret Hodge took a leaf from the Jewish Labour Movement’s playbook and secretly recorded a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn.
She then passed the recording on to Sunday Times reporters Richard Kerbaj, Gabriel Pogrund (him again!) and Tim Shipman in a clear breach of s.170 of the Data Protection Act 2018.
It is a criminal offence for a person knowingly to obtain personal data without the consent of the controller, to retain it without the consent of the person who was the data controller when it was obtained, and to disclose it to another person without the consent of the controller.
Ms Hodge appears to be guilty of all three, along with the Sunday Times and its reporters.
As the recording contains no information that could be said to show wrongdoing on the part of Mr Corbyn, its creation and distribution may not be said to be in the public interest.
Wait – what? The story is about Mr Corbyn not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism?
Don’t make me laugh.
The content of the illegal recording makes it clear that, having strengthened procedures in the wake of Jennie Formby’s accession to the position of general secretary, Mr Corbyn had become concerned that “evidence was being either mislaid, ignored or not used”.
The Sunday Times reporters have tried to imply that this is evidence of anti-Semitism by Labour Party members, but that is not what Mr Corbyn said.
He did not elaborate on the nature of the evidence in question.
It may be evidence that exonerates Labour Party members of any anti-Semitism allegations.
As a victim of the Labour Party’s bastardised and useless disciplinary procedures, I can affirm that they treat members accused of anti-Semitism on the basis that such people are guilty – and procedures are followed that do everything possible to prevent any proof of innocence being heard.
In my opinion, this would include evidence being “mislaid, ignored or not used”.
And let us not forget that the Labour Party is already a criminal organisation under the terms of the Data Protection Act, having failed to honour my Subject Access Request of February 2018, after a story falsely alleging that I was an anti-Semite appeared in the Sunday Times and other newspapers.
That evidence could have been a vital part of my defence against the charges the party was lining up against me – but Labour Party officers illegally withheld it.
Therefore it seems clear that Mr Corbyn has a strong case for believing party officers have acted wrongly.
The course of action open to the Labour leadership is clear. Legal proceedings under the Data Protection Act should be lodged against the Sunday Times and its individual reporters – Messrs Kerbaj, Pogrund and Shipman – and againt Ms Hodge. Her membership of the Labour Party must be suspended with a view to expulsion.
That is the only logical course of action in response to abuse of the law of this kind.
But, considering the Labour leadership’s record of pandering to bullies like Hodge, I won’t hold my breath waiting.
UPDATE: According to a commenter (see below), the data protection laws apply only to personal information like name, address, date of birth and so on. This does not ring true. Under the General Data Protection Regulations – and the Data Protection Act 2018, personal data is any information that is clearly about a particular person – such as, in this case, the opinions of Jeremy Corbyn. So the people and organisation named above are in a highly actionable position.
To put the cap on it, a Labour representative has contacted at least one of the reporters, stating: “The recording released by Margaret Hodge contains personal data of two individuals, neither of whom has consented to its recording, disclosure or other processing. Because of the political context, the data is special category personal data under the GDPR and DPA 2018. The Sunday Times‘ making use of the content of the recording is further processing for which the paper has no consent, nor does any relevant exception under Party 5 of Schedule 2 to the DPA apply.”
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I suspect that she is deliberately engineering prosecution to become the poster-girl for persecution.
Investigation and explusion would therefore be a reasonable compromise on the full proviso that the Leader of the party makes it clear that he decided not to proceed with prosecution out of clemency.
Can anyone else bring a case against them? be a good way round the problem
The Data Protection laws apply to personal information such name, address, DOB etc and can not be applied to a secretly recorded conversation…no matter how much I would like them to be.
Apparently they can.
I do hope you’ll put in a complaint to the DPP – or whoever.
It’s not for me to do, unfortunately. The complaint would have to come from the victim.
Ms Hodge has tried to do a lot of damage to the Labour party enough is enough get rid #JC4PM
Mr Corbyn said nothing wrong in his wording, in fact it was good of him for acknowledging something may be wrong.
A truly ghastly individual…
As i understand it, you can covertly record a conversation as long as it is for your own purposes.
Once you make it available to a third party it becomes a breach.
This is very often why recordings are ruled inadmissible as evidence in court.
It would only usually be regulatory investigatory powers act (RIPA) acquired evidence that would be allowed because Art 8 HRA removes the right to privacy for the purposes of law enforcement
They need to get rid of her from the labour party ASAP,she is not speaking for me,JCPM.
You can guarantee that if criminal proceeding were initiated, she would cry persecution. I am surprised that she has not already started to blow that trumpet. What kind of person does that? I have heard much about involving the Jewish £abour Movement, or some other Jewish group in the “independent” proceedings. Why has £abour become about Jews? I also heard an allegation of certain persons using anti-Semitism to get rid of Mr. Corbyn, to which the response was, this is telling people that £abour isn’t taking this seriously. I’m sorry but how can you accuse Mr. Corbyn of being an anti-Semite and a racist and say that it’s not about him?
I am sick of hearing about this. Aye, there are probably anti-Semites in the Party, there are, no doubt, racists in the Party, there are all kinds of people in the Party but how is having anti-Semites, specifically, in the Party an existential threat? What about all of the other people who are persecuted far more frequently and vehemently? I don’t like this, at all and it has to stop, before people get hurt. The climate that we have, these days, is one in which discourse becomes reduced to acts of physical violence, because people cannot agree, or argue a point effectively and civilly. We are living in dangerous times, as it is and this kind of behaviour just creates animosity.
It’s about time we as a society clamp down on pepole and organizations who misrepresented the truth. They are all to quick to call out social media… and then in the same breath act in a way that totally contradicts
You’re not alone in having your SAR ignored by the party. Mine was too when I was suspended as part of the cull of Corbyn supporters before the last leadership election. When I was eventually interviewed 6 months later. There was no explanation
When Margaret Hodge was leader of Islington Council she refused to listen to the whistleblowers who revealed to her the wide spread peadophile ring – members of PIE – in her many children’s homes. The Islington Gazette has campaigned for the victims of 45 homes. All the info is here written by Journalist Julie Bindel: http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/5470/full this important information because Dame Hodge, being now a member of The House of Lords and The British Establishment with friends in high places, has got away with it. Please share this info.
She’s not in the House of Lords – she’s the MP for Barking. She’s only styled “Lady Hodge” because of her late husband having been a knight.
GDPR applies to businesses, not individuals.
But the Data Protection Act applies to everybody.