Police investigating after MPs targeted in 'honeytrap' sex sting attempt

4 April 2024, 18:45

Several MPs have been targeted
Several MPs have been targeted. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Police have launched an investigation after claims that at least one MP was targeted in an attempted "honeytrap".

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Some 13 people are said to have received unsolicited WhatsApp messages from people calling themselves 'Charlie' and 'Abi'.

The targets include three current MPs - among them a serving minister - one current MP, two journalists, a broadcaster, four party workers, a former special adviser, and the manager of an all-party parliamentary group.

They span both the Conservatives and Labour.

Several of the people targeted were sent photos that included nudity. The people sending the messages also seemed to know personal information about the targets.

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It is unclear who is behind the attacks, but authorities are not ruling out a foreign state. It could also be a criminal gang.

Alicia Kearns said that a hostile foreign attack may be behind the honeytrap.

“Foreign states are repeatedly crude and amateur in their tactics, sometimes verging on the farcical," she told Politico.

House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said that the Parliamentary security department is looking into the messages, along with "partners in government" to "analyse and understand" them "and any related security risk".

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: "Leicestershire Police is investigating a report of malicious communications after a number of unsolicited messages were sent to a Leicestershire MP last month.

"They were reported to police on Tuesday 19 March. Enquiries are currently ongoing.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Picture: Alamy

A Parliamentary spokesperson said: "Parliament takes security extremely seriously and works closely with government in response to such incidents.

"We provide members and staff with tailored advice, making them aware of security risks and how to manage their digital safety.

"We are encouraging anyone affected who has concerns to contact the Parliamentary Security Department."

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