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Lib Dems call on Labour to join the fight against Home Office’s ‘sinister’ proposal on data rules

March 4, 2018 4:37 PM

The Liberal Democrats and the3million are calling on Labour to protect people's basic fundamental rights where data is being processed for immigration purposes. Next Monday Diane Abbott and Liam Byrne have the chance to join with the Liberal Democrats to oppose the government from using the cover of GDPR implementation to sneak in a sinister proposal that would deny people the right to access data held about them as part of their wider hostile environment agenda targeted at immigrants in the UK.

These provisions will likely impact EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit. The Liberal Democrats put forward an amendment to the Bill in the Lords to delete these provisions, but were not supported by Labour in the lobby when pushed to a vote. The Liberal Democrats have written an open letter to Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and shadow Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Liam Byrne calling on them to support the Liberal Democrats' fight to remove this alarming provision.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey said:

"Diane Abbott's warm words are not enough. We gave the Labour party a chance to kill this sinister provision and they sat on their hands in the Lords. It is no use tinkering at the edges with this exemption it needs to be deleted. The Government's hostile environment agenda has gone too far and they are now infringing on people's fundamental right to access their own data and have mistakes corrected. This is appalling from a so-called democratic government and has no place in Britain."

Co-founder of the3million Nicolas Hatton said:

"The Data Protection Bill is supposed to be about giving people greater control over their data, but it contains an exemption for immigration cases that does exactly the opposite - by denying people access to their data when they need it most. Victims of administrative errors may have no way to stop a typo from turning their lives upside down. Everyone should be entitled to know how the Home Office and other government agencies are using their records, and that is why the3million support removing this exemption."

Ipswich Liberal Democrat Councillor Inga Lockington said:

"As an EU citizen who has lived in the UK for over 38 years, paid my taxes and have taken full part in life in the UK I do not see why I should have less right to see any data held by the Home Office about me than a UK Citizen has. I want to make sure that any information they hold about me is correct."

Cllr Inga Lockington