As Zelo Street regulars will recall, the recent behaviour of those at BuzzFeed UK, following the arrival there of former Guido Fawkes teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham, has on occasion proved interesting, especially its taking up the rubbishing of Observer freelance Carole Cadwalladr, while The Great Guido, for a while, almost ceased to mention her at all. Now has come another interesting development.
We know that the Information Commissioner’s Office is due to report to Parliament this morning with the findings of its investigation into the use of data by the various EU referendum campaigns. BuzzFeed has been provided with a leak from that report, which, to no surprise at all, concerns the alleged “man who bankrolled Brexit” Arron Banks.
Banks, as Ms Cadwalladr has observed, has used the Fawkes rabble as a conduit for kicking his opponents for some time, especially her. But it is clear from the BuzzFeed article, “Arron Banks' Firm And Leave.EU Face Fines Totalling £135,000 For Unlawful Use Of Customer Data”, that Banksy seems to have tipped off Wickham and Co instead.
“According to leaked sections of the report seen by BuzzFeed News, the ICO notified Leave.EU and Banks' Eldon Insurance on Monday that they are facing fines totalling £135,000 for the data protection breaches” they tell, adding “The information commissioner also found that Leave.EU sent emails to its own subscribers promoting Eldon, which trades as GoSkippy”. And the fines?
“Leave.EU face a £15,000 fine for sending the email newsletter, because it ‘did not have the consent of the subscribers for the 296,522 direct marketing emails it sent’, the report says”. And for the emails to its own subscribers? “The information commissioner says it intends to fine Leave.EU and Eldon £60,000 each for these breaches”.
BuzzFeed knows rather a lot about what is happening to Banks. Which rather suggests that the leak came from, er, Banks. The only other nugget in their article is “The ICO also investigated the use of data by the Remain campaign. The report says it ‘obtained information’ over the course of the investigation that the Liberal Democrats ‘sold the personal data of its party members’ to Better Stronger in Europe (BSIE) - the official Remain campaign - for £100,000”. And who might already be spinning that one?
“Lib Dems Accused Of Selling Membership Data To Stronger In” announced the Fawkes blog triumphantly this morning, the 0840 hours time stamp unusually early in the day for them. Note also “The allegation is contained within the Information Commissioner’s Office report into referendum spending, sections of which have been seen by Guido”.
Who might have leaked the report to the Fawkes rabble? Was it Banksy? Or has there been some of that collusion stuff with BuzzFeed? The Great Guido does at least mention Banks, but only as an aside, despite the whopping great fine.
So, sad to relate, the gradual degradation of BuzzFeed continues. It had to be one of those investigated who leaked the ICO report, and with Banks now coming under more fire for flat-out lying on The Andy Marr Show™ last Sunday, he has nothing more to lose.
Anything to deflect from where that £8 million came from. I’ll just leave that one there.
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