Watchdog apologises to Rose over Farage findings
The privacy watchdog has apologised to Dame Alison Rose for suggesting that the former NatWest boss broke data protection laws when details of Nigel Farage’s account were leaked.
The Information Commissioner’s Office said its ruling last month had wrongly impllied that it had investigated Dame Alison’s role in the dispute.
Mr Farage, the former UKIP leader, lodged a complaint with the ICO which has said that its subsequent inquiry was focused on the actions of NatWest as a data controller.
“We apologise to Ms Rose for suggesting that we had made a finding that she breached the UK GDPR in respect of Mr Farage when we had not investigated her,” the regulator said.
“Our investigation did not find that Ms Rose breached data protection law and we regret that our statement gave the impression that she did.”
The error is all the more embarrassing for the watchdog whose role is to uphold information rights.
Dame Alison was forced to step down as chief executive of RBS-owned NatWest in July after she admitted speaking to a BBC journalist about the decision of its subsidiary Coutts to cancel Mr Farage’s account.
A review by law firm Travers Smith found that the decision earlier this year was lawful but was “predominantly a commercial decision.”
It added that Coutts considered its relationship with Mr Farage to be commercially unviable because it was significantly loss-making.”
The NatWest board has yet to decide whether to take action on Dame Alison’s multimillion-pound pay package.