Calls for immediate investigation into claims that Liz Truss’ phone was hacked by Russian spies
30 October 2022, 09:15
The Government is being urged to launch an urgent investigation following reports that Liz Truss’ phone was hacked by Russian spies.
Truss’ phone was reportedly hacked during her successful leadership bid over the summer, revealing a trove of top secret information and sparking “pandemonium”.
The Kremlin hackers gained access to negotiations with international allies about arms shipments to Ukraine, as well as Truss’ personal messages to key ally Kwasi Kwarteng, the Mail on Sunday reported.
These messages are said to have included criticism of Boris Johnson from both Truss and Kwarteng, which could lead to a risk of possible blackmail.
The breach is said to have taken place this summer, during then Foreign Secretary Truss’s successful bid to replace Johnson as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
When he learned of the breach, Johnson and civil service chief Simon Case reportedly kept it a secret.
The Cabinet Office declined to comment on the allegations.
The phone was reportedly so compromised that officials locked it in a safe.
A source told the Mail: “This caused absolute pandemonium.
“It’s not a great look for the intelligence services if the Secretary of State’s phone can be so easily raided for embarrassing personal messages from agents believed to be working for Putin’s Russia.”
Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “There are hugely important national security issues raised by an attack like this from a hostile state which will have been taken extremely seriously by our intelligence and security agencies.
“There are also serious security issues surrounding why and how this information has been leaked or released right now, which also need to be investigated urgently.
“It is important that all of these security issues are investigated and dealt with at the very highest level and we need to know that the government recognizes the seriousness of this and the importance of fully protecting our national security.”
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Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran said: “We need an immediate independent inquiry to uncover the truth. Was Liz Truss’ phone hacked by Russia, was there a news blackout and if so why?
“If it turns out that this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss’s leadership, that would be inexcusable.”
A UK government spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals’ security arrangements.
“The government has robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats. This includes regular security briefings for ministers and advice on protecting their personal data and mitigating cyber threats.”
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The news comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin branded Truss “crazy” this week for addressing Russia’s use of nuclear weapons.
Putin also claimed that the era of Western dominance was over in another exuberant speech on Thursday.
In the same week he practiced wiping out Britain and the US in a series of nuclear drills, according to a top Russian military expert, he again insisted that “world domination” by the West would no longer be tolerated.
“The West is no longer able to dictate its will to humanity, but still tries to do so, and the majority of nations no longer want to tolerate it,” the Russian autocrat said in a speech to a think tank.
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“World domination is what the West has decided to pursue in this game. It is a dangerous, deadly and dirty game.”
Truss was replaced by Rishi Sunak as prime minister this week after less than two months, following a disastrous spell leading the country that threw financial markets into turmoil.