Labour mulls canvassing opt-out homes

The Labour Party may be planning to hire an army of volunteers to canvass voters who have opted out of unsolicited cold-calling, in an attempt to exploit a technical loop-hole in data protection laws.

Under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998, it is illegal for political parties to ask for funds or support from individuals signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). But according to Labour’s chief press and broadcasting officer, Adrian McMenamin, unpaid volunteers can campaign to the opt-out voters.

McMenamin says that although it is illegal for paid party workers to campaign to voters who have opted to block unwanted calls, volunteers can work “off-script”. He says: “We are now talking hypothetically, but it is not illegal for unpaid volunteers to canvass people over the phone.” He refuses to give any further details.

Last week, Marketing Week revealed that the Conservative Party was using call centres to contact people who have opted-out of unsolicited cold-calling (MW last week). Labour has also been calling people registered with TPS. Both parties insist the calls are for research purposes.

The Liberal Democrats have complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which oversees the DPA.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here