Hackers stole Liam Fox’s entire personal email account giving Russians access to government documents

PUBLISHED: 10:16 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 05 August 2020

Former international trade secretary Liam Fox arrives in Downing Street. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Forme

Former international trade secretary Liam Fox arrives in Downing Street. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.Forme

PA Wire/PA Images

After allegations that leaked Brexit trade documents were hacked from Liam Fox’s e-mail account, it has been revealed the entire contents of his inbox on his personal account were stolen.

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The former disgraced defence secretary, who went on to become international trade secretary, reportedly experienced multiple hacks of his e-mail account which saw all of the contents copied.

Dr Fox’s account was said to have been accessed multiple times by Russian hackers between July and October last year.

The most high profile documents stolen were marked “official sensitive [UK eyes only]”, and were based around negotiations over a Brexit trade deal with America, with the documentation appearing on Reddit shortly after.

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Labour has called on the government to provide and full and public explanation of what happened, after a former head of the civil service said Fox “absolutely shouldn’t have used his private email address” for work business.

Bob Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, told the Guardian the rules were clear “for the veery good reason they aren’t secure”.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “The government now needs to explain how a minister’s account was hacked by a foreign state and specifically confirm whether classified documents were accessed through a personal email account.”

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats’ justice spokesperson, said: “Liam Fox’s actions were totally irresponsible and by sending classified government documents to his private email, it seems he might have breached national security in a very serious way.”

Downing Street said an ongoing criminal investigation was continuing, but did not dispute that Fox’s e-mail account had been hacked.

Fox last month was named as Britain’s preferred candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation, after Downing Street proposed the Brexiteer for the job.

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