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Irish politician launches bid to have Leave.EU audited amid concerns it is breaking data protection rules

Leave campaigner Arron Banks - Credit: PA

A Fine Gael politician has warned that Brexit lobbying group Leave.EU may be breaking data protection rules ever since it moved to the Republic of Ireland this month.

Neale Richmond, the Irish Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin Rathdown, has written to the EU’s domain registry, EURid, and his own country’s data protection commissioner querying if Leave.EU was GDPR compliant.



Leave.EU moved its registrant address to Waterford in Ireland in order to keep its .EU suffix after thousands of domains in the UK were “suspended” due to Brexit.

Leave.EU is the domain name behind the Leave the EU campaign body funded by British businessman Arron Banks and supported by Nigel Farage.

Richmond referred the group to ComReg in Ireland and EURid to see if they were legally eligible for a .eu domain name.

“Given that Leave.EU maintain great swathes of personal information about their supporters and other persons, it must be ascertained if they are doing this in accordance with EU law following their relocation of convenience from the UK to Waterford,” the Irish politician said.

“Leave.eu has previously been fined £60,000 for data breaches in the UK.

“In order to be GDPR compliant, Leave.EU would need to identify a Lead Supervisory Authority for Data Protection and would have to move under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Commissioner and, by extension, the Data Protection Board.”

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union.

Richmond has also written to Ireland’s public standards committee to see if the organisation fell under Irish electoral rules around donations, expenditure, and public expenditure.

“The pro-Brexit campaign group was fined £70,000 by the UK’s Electoral Commission for breaking spending rules in the 2016 Brexit referendum,” he said.

“Leave.EU’s recent move to Waterford must be rigorously scrutinised at every turn, this odious organisation has played a wholly negative role in British, Irish and European civic discourse for a number of years now.”

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