UK politicians call for investigation into Liz Truss phone hacking complaint

LONDON (AP) — The British government insisted on Sunday that it had robust cybersecurity for government officials, after a newspaper reported that former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s phone was hacked while that she was the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom.

The Mail on Sunday said the hack was discovered when Truss was running to become Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister this summer. He 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 the hack. He said the hackers gained access to sensitive information, including discussions about the war in Ukraine with foreign officials, as well as private conversations between Truss and a political ally, former Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng.

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 the leak of information to a newspaper.

“Was Liz Truss’s phone hacked by Russia, was there a power outage and if so, why? said Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran. “If it turns out that this information was withheld from the public to protect Liz Truss’s leadership bid, that would be unforgivable.”

Labor law and order spokeswoman Yvette Cooper said “the story raises questions about 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 that a Cabinet minister used a personal phone for serious government business, and serious questions about why this information or story was leaked or told at this time.”

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