Andrew Robathan MP

Andrew Robathan MP (Conservative) MP for Blaby. Deputy Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons. He served in the Coldstream Guards and SAS from 1974 to 1989 before leaving to pursue a career in politics.

Digital Economy Bill

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Electronic Voting

House of Commons debate Gould Report 28 November 2007

Gould particularly found that
"the voter was treated as an afterthought"
in the planning and organisation of the May 2007 elections in Scotland. The Government introduced incomprehensible ballot papers in Scotland, e-counting—particularly discredited by Gould—and postal voting throughout the United Kingdom, which has led to numerous cases of corruption, and which the Electoral Commission warned against. The Government are also introducing pilots on e-voting. This country used to have an enviable reputation for its democratic electoral processes, which have been reduced to the status of those of a banana republic. Is the Secretary of State proud of being associated with that?

House of Commons debate Whitsun Adjournment 24 May 2007

In Scotland earlier this month, we had the e-counting fiasco. I will not go through all the details because they were much rehearsed in the debate yesterday, but it was appalling. Someone thought, "Let's bring in e-counting. It sounds marvellous." We all know that new Labour likes modernising. We have had a lot of that. What it meant was that more than 140,000 votes were not allowed.
We have had e-voting pilots. I have not followed those very closely, but why are we having those pilots when everyone, including the Electoral Commission, is saying that e-voting will be less safe than anything we have now?
... I do not know how to hack into systems, but some people do. If the Pentagon can be hacked into, the Blaby district council website on conducting elections can be. It is as simple as that. No one in the House has any idea what it could lead to if we go down the route of e-voting.


Has challenged the government over why thousands of "high profile" people have been secretly barred from using the online tax return system amid concerns that their confidential details would be put at risk.


2008-01-28 - The Telegraph - Online tax system 'too risky' for the famous
Author: Robert Winnett
Summary: Thousands of "high profile" people have been secretly barred from using the online tax return system amid concerns that their confidential details would be put at risk. This provoked anger from consumer groups and accountants who said the same levels of security should be offered to all taxpayers regardless of their perceived fame. HMRC was responsible for losing 25 million child benefit records and the latest admission will concern millions of people entrusting the online system with their confidential financial records. ... The system was uncovered by the Tory MP Andrew Robathan, who received a letter saying he could not file online. He challenged ministers
2008-01-26 - BBC - Security stops MPs filing online
Author: Paul Lewis
Summary: MPs and other high profile individuals cannot file their self-assessment tax forms online for security reasons, it has been revealed. ... Andrew Robathan, Conservative MP for Blaby, who raised this issue in the House of Commons, said "I am not quite sure I buy that explanation - I am concerned about the security of data in the hands of government." "This has huge implications for everybody who files a tax return." "The big issue is whether the data of all my constituents is safe." "I will be taking this up with the information commissioner."