Monday 28 June 2021 / 8:41 AM Angela Rayner

Buckland admits Ministers could be putting national security at risk

The Justice Secretary today admitted that government ministers’ use of private emails for government could be putting national security at risk.

Asked on BBC Breakfast this morning whether the use of private emails could pose a risk and lead to government information being compromised, Robert Buckland replied: ‘I agree.’

Labour has sounded the alarm over a number of potential security breaches over recent days, including sensitive Ministry of Defence documents left on a bus and the leaking of CCTV footage from Matt Hancocks’s office.

The Labour Party has written to the Cabinet Secretary and the Information Commissioner to call for a ‘full-scale investigation’ into Ministers’ use of private emails for official government business.

Labour’s Deputy Leader warned of a ‘clear security risk’ if Ministers are using private email accounts to discuss government business, leading to the leaking of sensitive information, or the blackmail of Ministers by hostile actors. Rayner went on to ask if this practice could potentially breach the Official Secrets Act, Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act and Public Records Act.

 

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, responding 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.”