Twickenham MP Vince Cable issues apology for dumping confidential documents outside his office

Diaries: Dr Cable's schedule was left outside for all to see

Diaries: Dr Cable's schedule was left outside for all to see

First published in News by

Twickenham MP Vince Cable has issued an apology to constituents after the Richmond and Twickenham Times broke the news that confidential information was being dumped outside his consituency office. Read the letter in full:

"I would like apologise to my constituents, colleagues and others with whom I exchange letters for the mishandling of documents at my constituency office which has resulted in personal details getting into the public domain. I was first alerted to the breach on 2nd November. The Richmond and Twickenham Times contacted a member of my staff to confirm that the newspaper had been given documents containing the personal details of some of my constituents obtained from transparent recycling bags outside my office in Twickenham.

I was informed that a local resident had been able to procure the documents over a nine month period from February 2011 searching through the recycling bags left outside my office on Monday evenings for collection on Tuesday mornings.

This is clearly an unacceptable breach of privacy and as soon as I heard what had happened I instructed my office to introduce a stronger system for handling delicate information. There was a system in place to send confidential information to a company specialising in the recycling of sensitive documents. Those documents that have got into the public domain should have been dealt with in the same way. The staff responsible fully accept that this was an inappropriate way to handle such paperwork; and that this was a serious error.

I am disappointed that someone went through the office recycling then hoarded the confidential and sensitive paperwork for some months rather than alerting me or a member of my staff.

However, this happened at my office and I therefore take full responsibility for the unacceptable breaches of my constituents’ privacy.

Both I and my constituency team are dedicated to meeting the highest standards for the people of Twickenham. I am sorry that in this instance they were not met."

Yours sincerely, Vince Cable

Comments (7)

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2:38pm Fri 4 Nov 11

Twickenham Bob says...

Vince has been targeted quite a bit recently. But that’s no surprise as a lot of rich and powerful people in the UK don't like him as they see him as a real threat to their vested interests. News barons & bankers being two groups who are certainly worried.

Let’s hope he keeps the spot light firmly on reverse-capitalism at the banks (banker bonuses), and the attempts the Tories are making to cast any state assistance/benefits as an act of charity.
Vince has been targeted quite a bit recently. But that’s no surprise as a lot of rich and powerful people in the UK don't like him as they see him as a real threat to their vested interests. News barons & bankers being two groups who are certainly worried. Let’s hope he keeps the spot light firmly on reverse-capitalism at the banks (banker bonuses), and the attempts the Tories are making to cast any state assistance/benefits as an act of charity. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Fri 4 Nov 11

BS_Twickenham says...

I think the number of column inches given to this, and the number of column inches given to the Crane River ecologicial disaster, should have been reversed.
I think the number of column inches given to this, and the number of column inches given to the Crane River ecologicial disaster, should have been reversed. BS_Twickenham
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9:26am Sat 5 Nov 11

twickeman says...

It would be preferable for Vince to focus on his constituency and the issues that most concern the local residents that elected him.
Why hasn't he commented on the Crane disaster, the school fiasco and the station skyscraper proposals?
It would be preferable for Vince to focus on his constituency and the issues that most concern the local residents that elected him. Why hasn't he commented on the Crane disaster, the school fiasco and the station skyscraper proposals? twickeman
  • Score: 0

11:50am Sat 5 Nov 11

Edwina of Twickenham says...

Isn't this whistleblower rather sick? They've been going through Vince Cable's waste bags for months and months reading stuff that doesn't concern them? If this person was so concerned, why didn't they report what was happening at once? Will the Richmond and Twickenham Times please tell us how much they paid this so called "moral crusader"? And incidentally how much did the paper get from the Sun from selling the story on? I don't think anyone comes out of this story with much credit.
Isn't this whistleblower rather sick? They've been going through Vince Cable's waste bags for months and months reading stuff that doesn't concern them? If this person was so concerned, why didn't they report what was happening at once? Will the Richmond and Twickenham Times please tell us how much they paid this so called "moral crusader"? And incidentally how much did the paper get from the Sun from selling the story on? I don't think anyone comes out of this story with much credit. Edwina of Twickenham
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Sat 5 Nov 11

jeremyhm says...

twickeman: for the record, our MP told us about three years ago that he did not comment on local matters!
twickeman: for the record, our MP told us about three years ago that he did not comment on local matters! jeremyhm
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 5 Nov 11

alex twickenham says...

thank you jeremyhm - I hope that other readers will remember Vince's refusal to get involved in any contentious local issues whilst his local LibDem chums held power. Now that he is a power on the national stage, albeit by default, he seems to have completely forgotten how to run his own businesses.
We wouldn't get away with it.
Alex
thank you jeremyhm - I hope that other readers will remember Vince's refusal to get involved in any contentious local issues whilst his local LibDem chums held power. Now that he is a power on the national stage, albeit by default, he seems to have completely forgotten how to run his own businesses. We wouldn't get away with it. Alex alex twickenham
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Sun 6 Nov 11

Montrose says...

jeremyhm is quite right. Vincent Cable’s reason for abandoning his constituents when they were concerned over Cable’s Lib Dem council cohorts’ plan to concrete over part of Twickenham Riverside was he didn’t get involved in council matters as he represented Twickenham in Parliament not on the council. Funny how those standards don’t apply when he has challenged non-Lib Dem-run councils over a variety of issues.
jeremyhm is quite right. Vincent Cable’s reason for abandoning his constituents when they were concerned over Cable’s Lib Dem council cohorts’ plan to concrete over part of Twickenham Riverside was he didn’t get involved in council matters as he represented Twickenham in Parliament not on the council. Funny how those standards don’t apply when he has challenged non-Lib Dem-run councils over a variety of issues. Montrose
  • Score: 0

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