Liz Truss' phone reportedly hacked by Russian spies while foreign secretary

It has been reported the phone was so compromised that it is now locked in a safe inside a secure location - as Kathryn Samson explains

Liz Truss’s phone was reportedly hacked by suspected Russian spies while she was foreign secretary - leading to calls for the government to urgently investigate.

The breach was discovered when then-foreign secretary Ms Truss was running for the Tory leadership in the summer, but details were suppressed by then-prime minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, The Mail on Sunday reported.

Spies suspected of working for Russian president Vladimir Putin gained access to sensitive information, including discussions about the Ukraine war with foreign officials, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

It also claimed private conversations between Ms Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng criticising Mr Johnson fell into the hackers’ hands, potentially leaving them at risk of blackmail.

Commenting on the reports to ITV News, Russian spokesperson Maria Zakharova referred back to former prime minister Thresa May's statement in Parliament that it was "highly likely" Moscow was behind the poisoning of the Skripals - which is widely believed to have been the case.

"Each time Russia is mentioned in British tabloids we notice this 'highly likely' style, if there is any material or confirmation, we would like to take a look at that. Let us know if you’ve got it," she said.

"This time, we face even less than highly likely – some sort of weird connection between something happening with a cell phone which never was commented on by the UK government."

She also accused the UK media for drawing attention to "the mobile phone thing" to detract from allegations of Ukrainian drone attacks in the Black Sea - "The whole thing happened in the summer, now it is presented to the media after she was dismissed from the PM position."

Zakharova added Ms Truss is "my girl" and "a star". "Unbelievable, unforgettable and of course incomparable, she’s my choice, I’ve never seen somebody better," she said.

"I highly regret that she was dismissed. I hope and I really believe that one day, she will get the prize one more time, because she’s an outstanding person."

Opposition parties, meanwhile, are demanding a probe into the alleged attack, which will raise questions about the UK’s cyber security, as well as the judgment of Mr Johnson and Mr Case.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “There are immensely important national security issues raised by an attack like this by a hostile state which will have been taken extremely seriously by our intelligence and security agencies.

“There are also serious security questions around why and how this information has been leaked or released right now which must also be urgently investigated.

“It is essential that all of these security issues are investigated and addressed at the very highest level and we need to know that the Government recognises the gravity of this and the importance of fully protecting our national security.”

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran said: “We need an urgent independent investigation to uncover the truth. Was Liz Truss’s phone hacked by Russia, was there a news blackout and if so why?

“If it turns out this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss’s leadership bid, that would be unforgivable.”

A UK government spokesperson said: “We do not comment on individuals’ security arrangements.

“The government has robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats. That includes regular security briefings for Ministers, and advice on protecting their personal data and mitigating cyber threats.”