A BREACH of data protection rules have left the Green Party on the Isle of Wight red-faced and apologising for 'a deeply regrettable oversight'.

In a email sent to 'Green Party supporters', those that received the message could also see who else got the party's political news — in a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

GDPR protects the processing of personal information being released — but without the contact addresses being hidden the Green Party have inadvertently shared sensitive, private information.

A person's political opinion is considered to be special category data and even greater care should be taken to retain that information.

Addressing the message to 'Green Party supporters' and releasing the email addresses of 100 people has published people's potential political affiliation.

One person who was alerted to the breach through a family member has called it a 'serious mis-step' and said the Green Party should take this seriously.

Nuri Syed Corser, campaign organiser for the Green Party, said the mistake wasn't Vix Lowthion's, the Green Party parliamentary candidate for the Isle of Wight, who the message was supposedly sent from.

He said: "We have investigated what happened and a small fraction of our supporters received an email which included addresses other than their own.  No names or other information were disclosed.

"This was a deeply regrettable oversight on our part. We have been in touch with those affected to apologise unreservedly.

"It's vital we protect our supporters' privacy and treat their personal data with the utmost care.

"The email wasn't actually sent by Vix, and it wasn't her mistake. It was sent out from the party's mailing system by another member of the campaign team.

"This is the first time we've made this kind of mistake - and we're going to make absolutely sure it's the last time too. The normal procedures were not followed properly this time. We will ensure that doesn't happen again."

It can not be confirmed, however, if the breach has been reported to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) due to the pre-election period restrictions.

An ICO spokesperson said: "As a public body the ICO has to consider its responsibilities during the pre-election period.

"Our regulatory work continues as usual but we will not be commenting publicly on every issue raised during the General Election.

"We will however, be closely monitoring how personal data is being used during political campaigning and making sure that all parties and campaigns are aware of their responsibility under data protection and direct marketing laws."

The ICO have published requirements political parties must adhere to in order to comply with the laws as well as a hub online that offers information for campaigns.