Complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, about the Labour Party’s failure to respond to a Subject Acccess Request (SAR)

In an attempt to discover why I was suspended by the Labour Party on October 26 — without charge, without a hearing, without being told the identity of the complainant(s) — I submitted a Subject Access Request (SAR), under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Organisations such as the Labour Party are expected to respond within 40 calendar days to such requests for the personal information they hold about the requester. It is now 100 days since my original request — during which time I have had numerous email exchanges and telephone calls with the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit (including Sam Matthews, head of disputes, and his colleague, Darren Hall); Iain McNicol, the Labour Party general secretary, has also been personally involved in some of the exchanges (see below).

Complainants to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) — using the prescribed form (left) — are asked what they think the ICO can do to help.

My response was:

In the shortest term possible, I would like the Labour Party to fulfil my Subject Access Request (SAR), which was submitted 100 days ago (April 6 2017 and which — despite numerous emails and/or telephone calls has not received even a response.

In the longer term, I would like a full ICO investigation into the Labour Party’s malpractice and abuse in relation to data protection legislation — including failure to respond to SARs within the required 40 days, the unlawful sharing of personal data about individual members, the unlawful cross-matching of the Labour Party’s Voter ID records with membership applications, and the unlawful trawling of members’ social media to instigate and/or support disciplinary actions such as suspension and expulsion.

As you will see, I have — from an initial SAR submitted immediately after my suspension — evidence that points to chronic, widespread, and deeply-worrying abuse of the DPA by Labour Party officials. And by at least one elected representative.

Below are the emails that I have today sent to the ICO to support my complaint; for the purposes of this article, personal information has been redacted by me.

As usual, it is helpful to read from the bottom up:

From: Greg Hadfield
Sent: 15 June 2017 16:03
To: Legal Queries; Sam Matthews
Subject: Fw: Out of time — Fw: Subject Access Request: Greg Hadfield — L00XXXXX

Hi Jordan,

I’ve just spoken to the ICO. So I now know what I can do — and what you should do.

Have a great day,


— —

From: Greg Hadfield
Sent: 15 June 2017 15:53
To: Legal Queries
Subject: Re: Out of time — Fw: Subject Access Request: Greg Hadfield — L00XXXXX

Dear Jordan Hall,

If you do not apologise to the ICO — copying me in — and promise (without condition) that I will get a response by the end of the week, I will sue you personally — and the Labour Party.

Best wishes, broad church, unity, solidarity, democracy etc etc


— —

From: Legal Queries <>
Sent: 07 June 2017 16:59
To: Greg Hadfield
Subject: RE: Out of time — Fw: Subject Access Request: Greg Hadfield — L00XXXXX

Dear Mr Hadfield

Please accept our apologies for the delay. There have been a number of large SARs to complete and this, coupled with the calling of the snap General Election has meant that we have been delayed in issuing your SAR. It is our intention to have issued your SAR to you by 14th June.

We thank you for your continued patience in this matter. It is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

The Governance and Legal Unit

Labour Party

— —

From: Greg Hadfield []
Sent: 06 June 2017 13:56
To: Sam Matthews; Legal Queries
Subject: Out of time — Fw: Subject Access Request: Greg Hadfield — L00XXXXX

Dear Mr Matthews,

It is now 60 days since I submitted the subject access request below.

This is well beyond the 40 days required/expected by the ICO.

Can you please let me know in the next 48 hours when my request will be satisfied?

Otherwise, I will have no alternative but to make a formal complaint to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Hadfield

— —

From: Greg Hadfield
Sent: 06 April 2017 17:05
To: Sam Matthews; Legal Queries
Subject: Subject Access Request: Greg Hadfield — L00XXXXX

Dear Mr Matthews,

I wish to make a subject access request under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act.

The personal information I seek relates to me: Greg Hadfield (dob XXXX XX 1956; Labour Party membership number — L00XXXXX).

In addition to a copy of the personal information the Labour Party holds on or about me, I would like to know what — if any — personal data is being processed.

Furthermore, I would like to be given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed, and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people.

Finally, I would like to be given a copy of the information comprising the data and to be given details of the source of the data (where this is available).

I would prefer all the information to be in a digital format. But, if it helps, my address is XX XXXXXX Road, Brighton XXX XXX. My mobile telephone number is: XXXXX XXXXX

I look forward to the information within the prescribed period.

Yours faithfully,

Greg Hadfield



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Greg Hadfield

Pro-Corbyn. Elected secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party; votes annulled by NEC; suspended Oct 2016; re-instated Feb 2019. Ex-Fleet Street.