Tory MP apologises after emailing out spreadsheet of constituents complaining about US post-Brexit trade deal

PUBLISHED: 20:42 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 20:48 12 June 2020

US President Donald Trump (left) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

US President Donald Trump (left) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

A Suffolk MP has apologised after sending names and addresses of constituents unhappy with a possible US trade deal as an attachment in an e-mail.

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The spreadsheet with details of 177 people was attached to the e-mail instead of a leaflet from the government explaining its food standards policies to people who had written to Dr Dan Poulter with concerns about changes to safety in light of UK government negotiations with America.

After the e-mails were sent out, recipients received seven further messages from the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich’s office asking for them to be recalled.

One person who received the e-mail, and wished to remain anonymous, told the East Anglian Daily Times: I’m pretty shocked and appalled that this data has been sent out to so many people without my knowledge or consent.

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“They’ve obviously realised their mistake as they’ve sent out seven recall e-mail attempts. But something like this really shouldn’t be happening, as that’s now mine and 176 other people’s home addresses and e-mail addresses which have been broadcast for anyone with this e-mail to see.”

MORE: We are being fattened up for a one-way trade deal with Trump

Dr Poulter has reported his own office to the Information Commissioner and insisted it was an “insolated case”.

He told the local newspaper: “In the first instance, I would like to apologise unreservedly on behalf of my office to those affected. This is not something that has happened in my office before and the privacy of my constituents and their personal information is a matter of the highest concern to me. Every effort is made to ensure that all personal information is maintained by my office securely and safely.

“While this appears to be an entirely isolated case of administrative error, I have nonetheless asked for an urgent investigation to be conducted in my office and I have immediately contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office to seek their further guidance.”

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