Croydon selections: Unauthorised database changes may have stopped members receiving messages

Tom Belger

Unauthorised changes to the membership database in the Croydon East constituency may have stopped some members receiving certain Labour communications amid a parliamentary selection contest, LabourList understands.

Last November Labour temporarily halted its selection contest in the south London seat, as well as for the London Assembly seat of Croydon and Sutton, and launched an investigation after suggestions some membership data was inaccurate. Access to membership data was also then restricted.

The investigation has now been completed, with external expert advisers brought in, and the two selections are expected to resume again imminently.  A Labour spokesperson confirmed last night that all members had been written to with the outcome of the probe. “Remedial work has taken place and data restored and the selection process will resume shortly.”

The spokesperson added: “The Labour Party takes the protection of personal information and the rights of Labour Party members very seriously, which is why there has been a thorough investigation into the selection process in Croydon East.”

The investigation revealed that some personal details of members in Croydon East had been “altered on the Labour Party membership database without authorisation”, according to one source. This meant some members may not have received all Labour communications.

They said no “sensitive” personal data like members’ financial details was affected, but another source said emails, phone numbers and postal addresses were affected.

An email to members gives them up until the end of Thursday to check and update their details, suggesting the contest could follow that.  It also said “we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused you”.

One member told LabourList: “It is appalling that no information has been received regarding who did what and whether they are attached to any of the parliamentary candidates – it undermines the integrity of all.”

The journalist Michael Crick, who runs the Tomorrow’s MPs account on X about parliamentary selections, posted: “so many questions remain unanswered. Who carried out the alterations? Has anyone been punished? Does Labour even know who did it? How many members were affected? What was their motive? How many other constituency databases may have been tampered with?”

The party has previously also said there are “no issues” with the Anonyvoter system used for the selection vote, and the Labour Party “won’t be changing the platform for selections.”

A spokesperson for Anonyvoter also said “the Croydon East data breach is entirely unconnected to Anonyvoter”, rather instead being about Labour’s own membership data system.

“Anonyvoter is a stand-alone product without any links to Labour Party systems and is available for anyone (not just the Labour Party) to use. We have regular checks on the integrity of our systems and databases and have never found anything to suggest that our security has ever been compromised.”

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