Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott appears to have fallen victim to an email phishing prank

 
Mark Sands
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The email prankster who tricked Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Barclays chief executive Jes Staley appears to have scored another hit - on Labour's Diane Abbott.

The shadow home secretary had ducked out of a BBC radio appearance, claiming illness, yesterday morning, and was replaced at a hustings last night by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

The prankster, known on Twitter as @Sinon_Reborn, said they had set up an email address pretending to be Labour party strategist Seumas Milne, and discussed "adding some colour" to the Hackney MP's story.

One email apparently sent to Abbott also discussed the shadow home secretary's disastrous appearance on Sky News last night, in which she struggled to answer questions on a recent Labour-commissioned report on terrorism.

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Discussing her reasons for pulling out of media interviews, Abbott appeared to tell the hacker she was concerned about "telling untruths about my health which are easily disproved".

If appointed home secretary following a Corbyn victory, Abbott would have responsibility for intelligence and security matters, including cyber security. The prankster said on Twitter: "If I was a North Korean or a Russian hacker I could have sent her God knows what to download."

Labour did not respond to request for comment on the exchange.

The same bluffer previously lured Carney into comments on the drinking habits of former Bank of England governor Eddie George by claiming to be Anthony Habgood, chairman of the court of the Bank.

Staley was tricked by emails purporting to be from Barclays chairman John McFarlane.

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