Politicians in the United Kingdom are calling for a probe into the report that former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ phone was hacked by Russian spies over the summer and was possibly covered up while she challenged for the leadership role.
Following the report of the alleged hack by the Daily Mail, opposition parties demanded an independent investigation into the hack and into the leak of the information to the newspaper.
“Was Liz Truss’s phone hacked by Russia, was there a news blackout and if so why?” said Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran. “If it turns out this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss’ leadership bid, that would be unforgivable.”
Then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case suppressed details about the security breach, the newspaper reported.
Britain’s then-Prime Minister Liz Truss leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Ministers’ Questions session in parliament in London on Oct. 19, a day before announcing her resignation. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Russian spies were suspected of the hack. It said the hackers gained access to sensitive information, including discussions about the Ukraine war with foreign officials, as well as private conversations between Truss and a political ally, former Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng.
Labour Party law-and-order spokeswoman Yvette Cooper said “the story raises issues around cybersecurity.”
The British government insisted Sunday that it has robust cybersecurity for government officials, after a newspaper reported that former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ phone was hacked while she was U.K. foreign minister. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)
“It’s why cybersecurity has to be taken so seriously by everyone across government, the role of hostile states,” she told Sky News. “But also the allegations about whether a Cabinet minister has been using a personal phone for serious government business, and serious questions about why this information or this story has been leaked or briefed right now.”
The Daily Mail report claimed that then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped keep the security breach secret. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
The U.K. government spokesperson declined to comment on security arrangements but said it had “robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats,” including regular security briefings for ministers.
Truss resigned on Oct. 20 after less than two months in office following weeks of criticism over her economic plans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.