Conservatives investigate possible leadership email data breach

Credit: PA, Matt Crossick

Welsh Conservatives say they're investigating a potential data breach after an email was sent to members calling for a contest to choose a new leader.

The party is working towards electing a new leader for the Assembly group after Andrew RT Davies resigned from the top job on Thursday.

It had appeared there were moves towards installing the interim leader, Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies, permanently and without a contest.

There has however been opposition to a coronation with a number of Conservatives arguing that it would be insulting to the party's members.

That was the context in which a petition appeared this morning. It's now been taken down.

The petition had set out its aims as follows:

This morning Welsh Conservative members, although not all, received an anonymous email containing a link to the petition and urging them to sign, saying choosing a new leader should be a matter for members.

The petition has now been taken down

The party's Welsh Board of Management met today to decide arrangements for the leadership election.

Following that meeting, the Chairman of the Welsh Conservative party, Byron Davies, sent out an email setting out those arrangements. You can read details of them here.

But he concluded by referring to the earlier email:

After I'd tweeted about the petition and email several Conservatives responded, some saying they hadn't received it while others questioned how those behind the email got hold of addresses.

Some began to suggest it could have been a data breach.

Byron Davies has confirmed to me that the mass email is being treated as a possible data breach and that 'the matter is under investigation currently.'