Saturday 31 March 2012

Request for transparency from the Sunday Times

Apart from a couple of Tweets directed toward me I have heard nothing further from the Sunday Times after their email to me of Friday afternoon. I suspect that, based on the allegations made against me in Friday's email, they are going to try and suggest I was attempting to secure money to influence government policy.

I was not.

Once again, I was suggesting a transparent approach to generate new ideas which may well never become Conservative Party policy. That is how the policy formulation process works.

My assumption on what they are going to try and claim I was doing is just that, an assumption. Therefore, to allow a fair right to reply I have this afternoon written to the Sunday Times  to request some personal data they hold on me under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act -specifically, the footage collected of me on February 8 2012.

The letter I have sent today to the Sunday Times can be found below:

Deputy Insight Editor
Sunday Times
3 Thomas More Square
E98 1XY

Dear Ms Blake,

I believe that you have already seen my response to your email of March 30. If you have not then please see a full response to the allegations posted at  

In addition I would like to request some personal data that you hold about me under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act - specifically, the footage that you collected of me surreptitiously on February 8 2012. 

Journalists do, of course, have a "special purposes" exemption - section 32 - under the Data Protection Act, under which you can refuse most requests. I do not believe it should apply to the footage in this case. That is because section 32 only applies in cases where it is "necessary" to withhold information when disclosure would impede the practice of journalism: enabling source protection and so on. 

In this case, I know who collected the data. I am, furthermore, asking for a record of a conversation in which I was a participant. Full, prompt release to me would enable me to have a fair right to reply to your allegations.
A copy of this letter, accompanying a payment of £10 to cover your administration costs, has been sent to you via Royal Mail today.
I look forward to your response.
Edward Staite


  1. Just looked in to see if anyone has rushed to your defence... and I get to be first commenter.

    Do you have no friends?

  2. I have been very lucky to receive calls, text messages and emails from a large number of friends, colleagues and clients but I appreciate your concern.


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