This evening a piece has appeared accusing me and the party I love (Labour) of a data breach. Neither I or the party have done any such thing. I think I do owe it to the party to respond, even though as an intensely private person I find such things very difficult.
In 2015 I was asked to do demographic analysis for the Leave.EU campaign; a decision I regret almost every day as it happens. Nonetheless I stand accused of using Labour party data (untrue) and party canvassing (?) records for Leave.EU – both of which are untrue, libellous and deeply offensive. I worked in Labour HQ from November 2014 through to May 2015. I did not “run Ed Miliband’s campaign” in 2015 as the piece says (as I’m sure Ed and just about everybody else in HQ would laugh at). My contract with the party expired on election day, May 2015. I have not worked for the Labour party since. In addition, the accusation that I used Labour’s own data as part of the Leave.EU campaign is both untrue and deeply offensive. I don’t intend to let that accusation pass, even though again it pains me to say anything in public.
In 2013 and 2014 I created my own bespoke data, which was used as part of the Leave.EU campaign materials published in the piece tonight. This was my own data and pre-dated any work with Labour HQ, was never used by Labour HQ during my time with them, nor has it been used by them since. During my time in Labour HQ, as I’m sure they would attest, I conformed wholly and properly with the necessarily strict protocols in place regarding the data they held. I would NEVER breach both the word of those protocols but also the underlying moral imperative that data is sacrosanct. I hope my former colleagues inside Labour HQ would attest to my professionalism in such matters and I wholly reject the accusation.
I was asked by Leave.EU to carry out a piece of analysis on the demographics of Labour voters who would be minded to vote Leave. I did so using my own data, having spent much of 2013 and 2014 researching those voters in my own time. The data I used to inform this work for Leave.EU is NOT personal data; it is neighbourhood level data. The lowest geographical unit I used for this particular analysis was the lower super output area (LSOA), a geographical unit of some 1,500 persons on average. The postcodes from within each LSOA were derived from lookup files I created.
As for some of the more incredible parts of the piece (“Labour guru”; “ran Ed Miliband’s campaign”, etc) I can only apologise to Labour but I am not responsible for how others describe me. I find it all incredibly embarrassing as any one who knows me well would tell you. I would NEVER do anything to besmirch the name of the Labour party; the party I love. I have acted professionally throughout and reject any suggestions that I have done otherwise.
I am truly sorry to my friends in Labour for having to read this. There are some decisions I have made that I regret deeply; working with Leave.EU being one. But I have always acted professionally and in good faith, and will do so in the future. I am of course more than happy to speak with the party, and I am sure I will be soon. This whole thing is deeply embarrassing but the party should know one thing – neither I or the Labour party have done anything wrong here.
UPDATE: I want to thank all of my friends from across the political spectrum for their support today. It has been a source of great strength during a horrendous day. I have passed the matter over to my legal people and I will therefore not be making any further statements.