The Liberal Democrats have announced an investigation into allegations that two campaigners for the leadership contender Norman Lamb broke party rules and data protection laws.
It is understood that Lib Dem officials will discuss referring the allegations to the Information Commissioner. A party spokesman said: “The Liberal Democrats take any alleged breaches of party rules extremely seriously. The party has contacted both teams to reiterate rules on the leadership process.”
The two are alleged to have used party membership lists to conduct negative polling against Mr Lamb’s rival for the leadership, Tim Farron.
The Independent on Sunday reported yesterday that Lib Dem members were called by pollsters who appeared to be representing the party, rather than Mr Lamb, and asked questions which appeared to undermine Mr Farron. They included his voting record on gay marriage, an issue on which he abstained during the last parliament.
Mr Lamb said the pair were acting without his authority and had been removed from his team.
The North Norfolk MP and Mr Farron are the only candidates to have been nominated to succeed Nick Clegg as leader. The winner of the ballot of party members is due to be announced on 16 July.