Posts Tagged ‘Fraud Act’

Handing the Falkirk report to the police is a good first step. But more is needed.

05/07/2013, 01:27:50 PM

by Atul Hatwal

So news breaks this lunchtime that the party is handing the report into Falkirk West to the police. Good.

On Wednesday this week, Uncut was first with the news that the Fraud Act had potentially been breached. Yesterday, we broke the news that the party was refusing to commit to handing over evidence of any illegality to the police and relevant authorities.

In the post yesterday, we called for the party ‘s legal advisers to look at the report and asses whether any evidence of law-breaking was uncovered during the course of the NEC inquiry. This morning the Labour party did exactly that and as expected has found it extremely likely that the law has been breached.

The party is making the right moves to clean up this mess. But there is unfinished business. Handing the report to the police will address the potential breach of the Fraud Act.

However, the Data Protection Act has also very likely been breached and this is within the remit of the Information Commissioner rather than the police.

The party inquiry will have found evidence of this breach, not least with the complaints of Unite members who found that they had been signed-up to the Labour party without their knowledge.

To complete the cleansing, the party should handover this is evidence of law-breaking to the Information Commissioner and ask him to investigate.

Only then will the party truly begin to move on from the disaster in Falkirk West.

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New Falkirk twist: Now Labour refuse to commit to pass evidence of law-breaking to the police

04/07/2013, 07:00:33 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Another day, another Falkirk West farrago. Labour has now managed to tie itself in knots over what to do with evidence of illegal activities, uncovered as a result of the party’s inquiries.

The current position is that Labour will not commit to handing over any evidence of suspected law-breaking to the police or relevant authorities.

To recap, this sorry affair was kicked off when local Unite members complained to the party about being recruited into Labour without their knowledge.

In late May, the Sunday Herald carried details of one of the letters of complaint, originally sent in March, that ultimately triggered the NEC inquiry,

“Myself and two family members have been enrolled by Unite…I or my family did not fill in or sign any forms and wish to know what information the party holds about my family… I have concerns as to the way Unite in Falkirk are recruiting party members.”

On this basis, two laws appear to have been broken – the 1998 Data Protection Act and the 2006 Fraud Act.

Just over a month ago Uncut reported that angry members in Falkirk West were considering reporting Unite to the Information Commissioner because of a breach of their data protection rights.

Under the terms of the Act, each individual must have agreed before their personal details are passed to a different organisation.

At the point where Unite members’ personal details were registered with the Labour party, without their consent being first granted, the law will have been broken.

Then, yesterday Uncut reported on the likelihood of a breach of the Fraud Act. Whoever completed the bogus applications and validated them would have contravened section 2 of the Act under the terms of “false misrepresentation”

Submitting completed forms to the Labour party, without the new members’ consent, would have constituted false misrepresentation.

Two laws, two breaches. One to do with peoples’ rights over their personal information, the other with the act of someone deliberately falsifying membership forms.


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