LONDON (UKTN) – The British government insisted on robust cybersecurity for government officials on Sunday after a newspaper reported that former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ phone had been hacked while she was the UK’s foreign secretary.
The Mail on Sunday said the hack was discovered when Truss was a candidate to become leader and prime minister of the Conservative Party over the summer. It said the security breach was kept secret by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the head of the civil service.
The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Russian spies were suspected of being involved in the hack.
The UK government spokesman declined to comment on security arrangements, but said it had “robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats”, including regular security briefings for ministers.
Opposition parties demanded an independent investigation into the hack, and into the leaking of the information to a newspaper.
“Was Liz Truss’ phone hacked by Russia, was there a news outage, and if so, why?” said Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Layla Moran. “If it turns out that this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss’ leadership bid, it would be unforgivable.”
Labor Party spokesman Yvette Cooper said “the story raises issues around cybersecurity.”
“That’s why cybersecurity needs to be taken so seriously by everyone in government, the role of hostile states,” she told Sky News. “But also the allegations about whether a minister has used a personal phone on serious government matters, and serious questions about why this information or story was leaked or briefed.”