Voting to pick next British prime minister delayed after hacking alert: Report
LONDON Aug 03: The delivery of ballot papers to Conservative members to vote for the next prime minister has been delayed amid security concerns. Reportedly, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy agency warned that cyber hackers could change people's ballots. There was no specific threat from a hostile state, and the advice was more general and about the voting process and its vulnerabilities, according to news agency Reuters. As a result of the concerns, the Conservative Party has been forced to abandon plans to allow members to change their vote for the next leader later in the contest, according to the Telegraph. Postal ballots are also yet to be issued to the around 160,000 party members who have now been warned they could arrive as late as Aug. 11, the report added. The ballots were earlier due to be sent out from Monday, The Telegraph reported. Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is closing the gap to catch up with rival, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in the race to 10 Downing Street, with only five points separating the two in a latest poll of the Conservative Party members on Tuesday. The data tables for a survey of 807 Conservative members, conducted by Italian public affairs company Techne for a private client and concluded last week, show Sunak at 43 per cent, Truss at 48 per cent while 9 per cent undecided in the election to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader and British Prime Minister. The survey asked Tory members their views on the two finalists and their policy plans. It found that on most issues Truss, 47, was ahead of Sunak among party members and voters who supported the Tories in 2019. However, Sunak led Truss on being "qualified" to be Prime Minister by 10 points, 52 per cent to 42 per cent, and being authoritative, 51 per cent to 43 per cent.