Merton Council secrets 'at risk' after ex-cabinet member's phone hacked
Council secrets could have fallen into the hands of tabloid journalists, it was claimed, after a former senior councillor was targeted in the phone hacking scandal.
Amanda Ramsay, a Labour councillor until 2006, received a cash settlement last week from News Group Newspapers after personal details appeared in the notebook of Glen Mulcaire, a former AFC Wimbledon footballer and private detective employed by the News of the World.
She believes she was targeted because, while serving from 2002 to 2004 as Merton’s cabinet member for equalities, she worked in the House of Commons for a Labour MP and whip, Graham Stringer.
She said her council laptop was stolen from her Wimbledon home and – within weeks – her mobile phone had been stolen from her desk in Westminster.
Ms Ramsay, who now hopes to become an MP in Bristol, said: “The council laptop was never recovered and it is hard to know 10 years later what could have been taken.
“It made me increasingly paranoid because we don’t know the full extent of how far this invasion of privacy went.
“It was a totally horrible experience – seeing all your personal information laid out in a stranger’s notebook.
"It made be increasingly paranoid because we don’t know the full extent of how far this invasion of privacy went.”
Mulcaire, who was convicted in 2007 for intercepting phone messages meant for members of the royal family, also obtained personal details about Ms Ramsay’s father, a former Wimbledon police officer.
Former cabinet member for education, Councillor Peter Walker, said: "I can imagine that in equalities there would have been kinds of confidential information about discrimination, individual employment records and things which officers quite regularly would phone you up about.
“This is very serious and shows how widespread phone hacking had become.
“This is more than just targeting the royal family and celebrities.
“It is for [chief executive] Ged Curran as the most senior council officer, to investigate and request from the police and News International what information they had.”
Merton Council refused to comment.