Theresa May has faced questions in the Commons over alleged Conservative Party links to the parent company of the embattled data firm Cambridge Analytica.
The Prime Minister’s comments follow the suspension of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, amid claims the company harvested personal data from up to 50m Facebook users.
But Ms May insisted that she is unaware of any “current” Government contracts with Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) – the parent company of the Cambridge Analytica.
It is understood that Cambridge Analytica contacted the Conservative Party to discuss and offer their services under David Cameron’s administration, but the party chose not to take the offer any further.
“The Conservative Party has never employed Cambridge Analytica, or its parent company, nor used their services,” a party spokesperson said.
Ms May was tackled on the issue at Prime Minister’s Question’s by the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, who claimed that SCL had been run by a chairman of the Oxford Conservative Association.
“It’s founding chairman was a former Conservative MP,” he added. “A director appears to have donated over £700,000 to the Tory Party. A former Conservative Party treasurer is shareholder.
“We know about the links to the Conservative Party. They go on and on. Will the Prime Minister confirm to the House her Government’s connections to the company?”
But Ms May replied: “As far as I’m aware the Government has no current contracts with Cambridge Analytica or with the SLC group.”
She continued: “What we have seen in Cambridge Analytica – the allegations are clearly very concerning. It is absolutely right that they should be properly investigated.
“It’s right that the Information Commissioner is doing exactly that, because people need to have confidence in how their personal data is being used.
“I would expect Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and all organisations involved to comply fully with the investigation that is taking place.
A Downing Street spokesman later confirmed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had previously had a contract with SCL, but this had ended before the recent allegations came to light.
“We are looking across Government to see if there were any other contracts,” said the spokesman. “As the Prime Minister said we are not aware of any current contracts.”