Lib Dems accuse Labour of hacking into e-mails

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Indy Politics

House of Commons officials have been called in to investigate allegations that e-mails sent by senior Liberal Democrats have been illegally hacked into.

House of Commons officials have been called in to investigate allegations that e-mails sent by senior Liberal Democrats have been illegally hacked into.

A confidential Liberal Democrat memo warns MPs and staff, including Charles Kennedy's closest aides, to take extra precautions to protect e-mails after two recent security breaches, one alleged to be by a Labour party employee.

Charles Kennedy is expected to raise the alleged Labour security breach at his next meeting with Tony Blair, according to Liberal Democrat sources.

The security breach was discovered when an internal Liberal Democrat inquiry into a policy leak to The Guardian newspaper traced the source to a Labour party employee.

Liberal Democrat computer experts discovered that one e-mail had been read by a Labour party member of staff.

The memo, seen by The Independent, says: "We do know the Guardian leak was the product of a Parliamentary e-mail hack (Labour was the culprit) and alert you to continuing problems with the security of this network."

Another incident of unauthorised hacking into private Liberal Democrat e-mails was reported to the police, but it was later discovered that the House's own communications directorate was responsible for the security breach.

Matthew Taylor, the Treasury spokesman, said that "only a tiny number of people" had access to the early draft of the party's pre-manifesto.

"We are fairly confident that it was Labour that accessed our e-mail. It can't have been paper copies because they were shredded," he said. "The second breach we don't think was a Labour hit."

The Parliamentary Communications Directorate, which has linked hundreds of MPs and House of Commons staff by e-mail, has launched an investigation following the reports.

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