Tory HQ paid investigators to spy on sex lives of supporters

Today is the day that the hacking and privacy invasion scandal moved inside the Conservative Party. After news broke yesterday that a justice minister faces an official investigation over “blagging”, it has now been revealed that Tory HQ paid private investigators to spy on the private lives of its own supporters.

The 2010 “I’ve never voted Tory before” campaign, widely spoofed on the web, featured members of the public who were new to supporting the party at the general election. But several candidates to be profiled in the adverts were rejected after the the official Conservative election campaign, run from CCHQ in Millbank Tower, paid for information on their sex lives and personal political activity.

The revelations come after months of assurances from David Cameron that the behaviour of staffers with prior links to privacy invasion, such as Andy Coulson, was beyond reproach while they worked for him:

“During his time working for me, Andy has carried out his role with complete professionalism.”

One was man rejected because of an extra-marital affair while another was rebuffed for connections with an insurgent political movement. While the Tories have claimed that the campaign of snooping was carried out “with the full ­knowledge and consent of the person involved”, one target told the Mirror that she was “astonished” that the party “knew everything” about her.

The developments will prompt yet more awkward questions for David Cameron and Eric Pickles, who was running the Millbank campaign HQ at the time.

Who within CCHQ authorised and funded this outrageous invasion of privacy?

9 Comments

  1. Honestyseeker says:

    I cant find any other media reports of this, have any other outlets picked up on this? If there is truth in this, Who did they pay to get this information and did they act legally and how did the Conservative party verify that the information was legally obtained?

  2. Andy H says:

    Can you be more specific? Was people’s information gained without their consent?

  3. Hoover says:

    The Mirror says it was done “with the full ­knowledge and consent of the person involved”

    If true, how can this be an “outrageous invasion of privacy”?

    Seriously…

  4. siôn Jones says:

    The woman in the video talks about schools and family – and suggests that that is why she i voting Tory in the GE (2010) . She is very ill informed. She lives in Llandudno, and Education, and family, in Wales is devolved, and the Tories in London will have nothing to do with it (thank god!).

  5. [...] 29th, 2011 Labour Wants Coulson Cake But Ate It The Mirror and Political Scrapbook, with more than a little help from the Labour Party press office, have gone big on the story that [...]

  6. Abod says:

    And Labour haven’t carried out similar checks?? Well, I guess it is silly season after all eh?

  7. Euan says:

    And if they hadn’t done background checks, and it later transpired that one of the poster people had something unpleasant or dubious in their background, who believes that the Mirror et al wouldn’t have had a go at the Tories for that?

    Frankly it seems fairly sensible to be sure that people you’re putting forward as good examples actually are good examples…

  8. [...] never voted Tory before, but . . .4:47pm Fri July 29thShareTweetAdd a commentThis morning, it was revealed that Conservative Party officials hired private investigators to snoop on ordinary people featured [...]

  9. John Ruddy says:

    Could the “full knowledge and consent” of the person involved not be from them signing a general disclosure form, similar to the one Labour has, which in their version has very, very small print, allowing the tories to check through your bins?

  10. keith says:

    Will the Labour party, Ed Milliband and Tom Baldwin confirm that they have never employed or used similar methods? Oh and we need then to say it under oath….

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