UK Accused of Cover-Up in Data Loss

Higher-ups okayed sending files with personal info on 25M
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2007 12:27 PM CST
Alistair Darling outside 10 Downing Street. The UK chancellor has had the mother of all bad weeks, facing down crises over the failing bank Northern Rock and the loss of 25 million British citizens' personal...   (Getty Images (by Event))
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(Newser) – Alistair Darling's disastrous week continued today as the British chancellor of the exchequer faced accusations of a cover-up in the lost-data fiasco, the Telegraph reports. Contrary to Darling's claim that the loss of 25 million people's data was an error by a junior administrator, newly released e-mails indicate senior tax officials knew about the decision to cut costs by not purging sensitive information before transferring the files.

Meanwhile, a Guardian investigation reveals that Northern Rock, the drowning bank to which Darling has committed $46 billion in taxpayers' money, has a massive hole in its finances and might not be able to repay its Treasury loan if it collapses. The twin headaches have jeopardized Labour's reputation for competence: The Tories are now 9 points ahead in the polls.