Maajid Nawaz 1pm - 4pm
Fresh Evidence Relating To Cambridge Analytica And Brexit Campaign Published By DCMS Committee
30 July 2019, 15:06 | Updated: 30 July 2019, 18:47
The government's sub-committee on disinformation has published fresh evidence from a key figure within the data firm Cambridge Analytica, drawing further attention to its connections to the Leave.EU campaign and political party Ukip.
The Chair of the UK's sub-committee on disinformation has published fresh evidence that shows the relationships between Ukip and the Leave.EU campaign, and the British firm embroiled in a privacy row after it was revealed it harvested data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles in a data breach.
Conservative MP Damian Collins published a dossier of emails from Brittany Kaiser, a former Director of Business Development at Cambridge Analytica, of the communications between CEO Alexander Nix and Arron Banks, the co-founder of Leave.EU.
It comes after Netflix premiered a documentary centred around Ms Kaiser sheds light on the British data-firm's involvement in both the 2016 US Presidential Election which elected Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.
The Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, lays out the ways in which Cambridge Analytica - which went into liquidation last year - used data from Facebook users in order to categorise them in order to best target political advertising ahead of the 2016 US Presidential election.
It also highlighted the firms involvement in other election campaigns across the world, including in Thailand (1997), Trinidad and Tobago (2009), India (2010), Colombia (2011), Italy (2012), Malaysia (2013), and Argentina (2015).
But while the firm previously denied involvement with the Leave.EU campaign, the documentary - and the evidence released by Mr Collins - shows communications between the two and political party Ukip.
And in light of the new evidence, Ian Lucas, who sits on the DCMS committee called for the Electoral Commission to re-open their investigation into the Leave.EU campaign.
The EC should re-open their investigation into LeaveEU in view of the additional evidence from Brittany Kaiser via @CommonsCMS— Ian Lucas MP (@IanCLucas) July 30, 2019
The evidence dump from Mr Collins includes a cover letter from Ms Kaiser, in which she asks the committee to "reach new conclusions" about whether Cambridge Analytica did any work for the Leave.EU campaign.
"As multiple enquiries found that no work was done, I would like to appeal those decisions with further evidence that should hopefully help you and your colleagues reach new conclusions," she wrote.
"As you can see with the evidence outlined below and attached here, chargeable work was completed for Ukip and Leave.EU, and I have strong reasons to believe that those datasets and analysed data processed by Cambridge Analytica as part of a Phase 1 payable work engagement were later used by the Leave.EU campaign without Cambridge Analytica's further assistance."
This directly contradicts statements by Mr Banks and Mr Nix both to parliament that Cambridge Analytica did no work for the campaign.
The documentary also shows footage of Ms Kaiser speaking at a Leave.EU press briefing in 2015, alongside the campaign co-founders Mr Banks and Richard Tice.
Speaking to the BBC in 2017, Mr Nix said Cambridge Analytica had "absolutely no involvement" with the Leave EU campaign, adding: "We did not do any paid or unpaid work for Brexit".