English sexually abusive Conservative politician not resigning

This video from England says about itself:

Channel 4 News Andy Coles 12 05 2017

Channel 4 News film on Andy Coles aka Andy “Van” Davy, undercover police officer with the Special Demonstrations Squad, who infiltrated the animal rights movement in the 1990s. Features interviews with “Jessica“, an activist with whom he had a longterm relationship and Paul Gravett from ARspycatcher, who campaigned alongside him and first publicly outed him as a spy in 2013. On 15 May 2017 Coles resigned as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

A YouTube comment on this video says:

Andy Coles, crime commissioner, has now resigned after he was exposed as being a member of a police intelligence squad in the 90’s. Andy, who operated under false ID and employment background, lured young woman he was spying on for sex. Some of the unit apparently got girls pregnant, then vanished from the face of the earth. Coles was caught due to media photographs and exposed as being a member of the highly secretive spy unit. During the 80’s and 90’s police operated a number of these controversial units, including some in Northern Ireland. Even fellow police did not know of their existence. The IPCC is now investigating after a previous investigation they derailed.

Andy Coles infiltrated the peace movement before moving on to animal rights: here.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Hard-pressed Tories won’t ditch spycop

Thursday 27th July 2017

Labour calls on discredited undercover lothario to resign seat

SPYCOP Andy Coles faced calls to resign as a Tory councillor in Peterborough last night, a week after a council meeting was shut down because of angry protests.

Peterborough City Council Labour leader Ed Murphy said allegations against Mr Coles were so serious that he should either refute them or resign, and Mr Murphy accused the Tories of refusing to sack Mr Coles in “a desperate attempt to cling on to power.”
Mr Coles was forced to step down from his role as Cambridgeshire & Peterborough deputy police and crime commissioner in May after being exposed as a former undercover police officer who spied on political activists.

His activities came to light after an eagle-eyed member of the public spotted a passing reference to Mr Coles’s double life by his brother, the former pop star Richard Coles, in his autobiography.

He pretended to be “Andy Davey,” a removal van driver from south London, when he started a relationship with a 19-year-old woman known as “Jessica.” She is taking action against the police as she feels she was groomed by Mr Coles.

“Although not legally underage, I feel that my youth and vulnerability were used to target me,” she said.

“I was groomed by someone much older, and far more experienced … I was manipulated into having a sexual relationship with him. I didn’t even know his real name.”

Mr Coles also stepped down from governor positions at two local schools following the revelations but he has refused to stand down as a Tory councillor.

A heated council meeting was closed down last week after protesters refused to take down a banner made by Mr Coles’s victim. They were angry that a public question asking for clarity over Mr Coles’s position as a councillor was ruled out of order.

The banner made by Coles' victim Jessica on display outside Peterborough Town Hall. It was later hung from the public gallery in full view of the council meeting, including Andy Coles himself

Last night’s meeting was held in closed session.

Mr Murphy told the Star that the council’s beleaguered Tory group was refusing to withdraw the whip from the discredited ex-cop.

“If they had a large enough majority, they would have got rid of him,” he said. And he revealed that councillors had been threatened with a gagging order from lawyers.

“The bottom line is that if he doesn’t stand down voluntarily, then a public campaign will force him to.”

Peterborough Conservatives had not responded to the Star’s request for comment as we went to press. However, their press officer is believed to be Andy Coles.

Over 1,000 organisations targeted by UK police undercover spying operations: here.

25 thoughts on “English sexually abusive Conservative politician not resigning

  1. Thursday 27th July 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    THE judge who ruled against Andrew Mitchell in the “plebgate” row has taken over the undercover policing inquiry.

    Original chairman Sir Christopher Pitchford stepped down on Tuesday due to ill health. He had previously announced that he would not be able to continue in the long term after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

    High Court judge Sir John Mitting will now take the chair. The inquiry is examining historic abuses by undercover coppers including the deception of women activists into long-term relationships.

    Mr Mitting famously ruled that Tory chief whip Mr Mitchell had used the word “plebs” in an outburst against police officers at the Downing Street gate.

    Mr Mitchell fiercely denied the charge and vowed to clear his name in the libel courts. But he was landed with a legal bill of more than £1 million after Mr Mitting’s ruling against him.

    The two men were later involved in an extraordinary brouhaha at London’s exclusive Garrick Club when Mr Mitting spotted Mr Mitchell and bellowed: “I hope we aren’t on bad terms!”



  2. Friday 28th July 2017

    posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

    Inquiry still refuses to name political groups spied on by officers

    UNDERCOVER police who used fake identities to spy on organisations infiltrated more than 1,000 political groups, a public inquiry revealed yesterday.

    The number of groups targeted as part of covert spying operations, some of which lasted several years, was announced for the first time yesterday following pressure from campaigners.

    The inquiry is examining the conduct of undercover police who infiltrated environmental organisations, animal rights groups, anti-racist campaigns, trade unions and left-wing political parties.

    At least 144 police officers are known to have been deployed to spy on political groups since 1968. Sixteen identities have been exposed by campaigners.

    Despite pressure from campaigners, the inquiry has still refused to name the organisations that were infiltrated.

    Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith, whose book “Blacklisted” revealed the figure in its 2016 update, criticised the judges for refusing to release details of the groups involved, warning of an “Establishment whitewash.”

    He told the Star: “Whatever the police try to claim, these are not 1,000 terrorist groups covertly planning to plant bombs.

    “These are perfectly peaceful campaigns including trade unions, the Labour Party, CND, environmental and anti-racist activists as well as grieving families who have set up justice campaigns for their deceased relatives.

    “If you have been involved in perfectly lawful activism it’s possible you have been under surveillance by these anti-democratic political policing units.”

    Mr Smith said the spying operation is likely to include NHS campaigns and tenants’ rights groups.

    The “spycops” scandal revealed how police officers used fake identities — often using the names of dead babies — to carry out covert missions.

    Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the inquiry when she was home secretary following pressure from victims of undercover operations which included police officers duping women into relationships and even fathering children with them.

    Bob Lambert resigned from two university posts in 2015 after he was exposed as a spycop who had infiltrated the Animal Liberation Front in the 1980s and had a child with an activist.

    On Tuesday the Home Office announced that Sir John Mitting would replace Christopher Pitchford to lead the inquiry.



  3. Saturday 5th August 2017

    posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

    Probe chairman says more identities will be revealed

    THREE more spycops’ identities were exposed yesterday by the public inquiry into undercover police operations.

    The inquiry is investigating the behaviour of police officers who infiltrated left-wing political groups over a 40-year period.

    It is the first time that the inquiry, chaired by Sir John Mitting, has revealed the names used by officers who were working on undercover spy missions.

    Those who have previously been uncovered as spies were unmasked by campaigners who became suspicious of their activities.

    Last month it was revealed that 250 police officers spied on over 1,000 campaign organisations since the late 1960s.

    These included trade unions, environmental campaigns, anti-racist groups, peace activists and even the grieving parents of murder victims.

    One of the spies exposed yesterday went by the name of “Rick Gibson” who infiltrated the left-wing organisation Big Flame and played a leading role in the Troops Out Movement, which opposed Britain’s campaign in the north of Ireland.

    He was active between 1974 and 1976 before his cover was almost blown after activists found a death certificate that appeared to show he had died as a young child.

    The undercover police spy — who has since died — told the group that he used the fake identity to evade police capture.

    However the spycop operation regularly used the birth certificates of dead children to obtain official documents including passports and other forms of identification for undercover police officers.

    Another of the spies went by the name “Doug Edwards” who infiltrated a number of groups including the Independent Labour Party. To his comrades, he was working as a long-distance lorry driver.

    He told the inquiry: “Some of the people in these groups were really nice, pleasant, intelligent people. They were different politically in their views, but in this country you can have different political views.”

    The third spy used the moniker “John Graham” and targeted anti-war groups in the late 1960s.

    He was active in west London branches of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, a group that organised large demonstrations in London including the protest at the US embassy in Grosvenor Square.

    The inquiry has been held up as police attempt to block the release of names of undercover officers.

    Inquiry chair Mr Mitting said he will announce the names of a further three spycops who have died along with those of seven officers who helped with the operations “in due course.”



  4. Monday 14th August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    We need Sir John Mitting to understand the devastating impact of our experiences as victims of spycops, writes ‘Andrea’

    A PUBLIC inquiry set up to investigate undercover policing in England and Wales has just released a new tranche of documents relating to the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a notorious covert unit within the Metropolitan Police.

    As well as disclosing the names of three previously unknown undercover officers, the inquiry team — now led by Sir John Mitting — has published documents revealing “minded to” notes on protecting the anonymity of former officers who operated at the heart of the scandal.

    I have been designated a core participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry as I was deceived into a long-term relationship with the SDS officer known as Carlo Neri. I met Carlo in September 2002, at a London anti-war demonstration.

    Carlo was a steward at the march alongside friends, all of whom were trade union activists.

    Carlo was a locksmith, working from a well-known shop in London’s Kings Cross. He was a member of the GMB union. He was practical, he drove an estate car, he fixed things. He changed locks: in my flat, in our friends’ flats.

    Carlo and I were inseparable and within six weeks, he’d moved in with me. We lived together for two years and in that time we got engaged and planned to have children. We had pictures of his son and his sister on the bookcase. We had an abundance of good food and fine wine from Italy. Carlo cooked beautifully, our flat was warm and hospitable and we threw great parties. He was adored by my friends, family and work colleagues. Not only did we love him, we also trusted him.

    The summer after we met, we were all set to holiday in France, coinciding with the final leg of the Tour de France. Carlo loved cycling and he organised the trip. The night before, Carlo came home and said: “I’m sorry but I can’t go. I have to go to Italy, my father’s sick.” He left for Italy, where his father had suffered a stroke. He rang me every day that he was away.

    Things changed over a period of several months. His father’s illness meant he had to spend more time in Italy. He began to disclose difficulties in his early life: a family history of domestic abuse, mental health difficulties, suicidal thoughts. He felt guilty and deeply ashamed. He had lost weight, even his eyes looked different. It was apparent that he was having a breakdown.

    Then his father died. And he disclosed that his father had sexually abused his sister. He was devastated. His behaviour became volatile and I felt frightened and completely helpless. Leading up to his final disappearance from my life, after more than two years together, he went missing several times and threatened suicide. All of this had a massive impact on my life and my wellbeing.

    In late 2015 I discovered that Carlo had led two completely different lives: one, with me, as a locksmith and left-wing activist and the other, with his wife, as a highly trained police officer, operating in the so-called elite SDS, a secretive unit within the Metropolitan Police.

    For more than a decade I had no idea that the man I had lived with for two years was in fact a state spy. Activists and researchers who had harboured suspicions about Carlo’s sudden disappearance had been quietly placing all the pieces of this extraordinary puzzle together.

    I will never forget the moment that I was given the papers which proved without question that Carlo was an undercover police officer.

    His profession was clearly documented on his marriage certificate and his children’s birth certificates. I recognised his signature immediately and it felt like someone had hit me. My vision blurred, my hearing dulled. I felt like I would pass out.

    Only later did I learn that the officers who joined this elite, covert unit had to be married. They would then have a guarantee — a stable home to return to when the long deployment (known as “deep swimming) ended. The devastating impact on us, the women who loved and trusted them for all those years, was written off as “collateral intrusion.”

    The impact of my discovery has been profound, reopening old wounds which never quite healed. This real-but-not-true person has re-entered my life, uninvited. When this happens to you, when your own narrative becomes a fiction, life becomes incongruent and disjointed.

    It’s a highly toxic situation — contaminating family life, relationships, career, even health. And when you begin to uncover the truth there are so many uncertainties and missing pieces that this leaves a huge sense of loss. The state orchestrated this lie and Carlo actively chose to be the main player. He had full autonomy in choosing for me to be his “collateral intrusion.” It is an enormously cruel thing to do.

    Carlo has just been granted anonymity to protect his real name. Apparently he lives in fear of repercussions from vengeful activists, who he depicts as a violent band of petty criminals.

    I don’t recognise this portrait of thugs and lowlifes that he paints in his evidence — these are the people who loved and supported us and joined to celebrate our engagement, New Year and birthdays. Among these friends are nurses, teachers, lecturers, social workers, artists, writers, therapists. Oh, and a lawyer and a doctor too. Not quite the danger to society the state would have us believe.

    However, if this fantasy was in any way true and these social justice activists and trade unionists I know were hell-bent on breaking the law — allegedly witnessed by Carlo — why was no-one convicted? Surely this counts as an expensive failure — five years of an elite salary and who knows what in expenses during his deployment?

    Carlo and his employers want his real identity to be protected. The reality is I have known many of these details all along. Carlo and his paymasters were arrogant, and so left behind lots of clues, including using his real child and sister’s photos (and names) to shore up his fake identity. I chose not to reveal his real name to protect his children and his ex-wife, who played no part in this sick charade.

    Carlo doesn’t want to face me in an open court. He doesn’t want me to see his face. This compounds the distress and frustration I feel — it adds insult to injury. Why should he — and the state — be so protected?

    They abused my human rights, invading my body, my home, my family life. They used the most disgusting methods of emotional manipulation to scheme their way in and out of all our lives.

    My rights seem to be less than his yet I am the victim in this gross misconduct and intrusion. In this public inquiry the weight of money, of legal representation and protection appears to fall on the side of the perpetrators.

    I don’t believe that Carlo is afraid of me or my activist friends. In reality, I think he’s deeply ashamed of his actions. And so he should be. However the Metropolitan Police is afraid of its ugly secrets being exposed in the public domain. This inquiry is not shaping up to protect my rights or uncover the truth about the abuse that happened to me.

    Instead, tenuous accusations are made about us — the victims — and perpetrators are afforded every protection. There is little acknowledgement of how vital the work of victims has been in uncovering these human rights abuses.

    I truly hope that Sir John Mitting can see through the state-sponsored lies. I hope he can hear our stories in an even-handed and impartial way.

    We need him to understand the devastating impact of our experiences as victims of spycops. These units demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the law and we need this inquiry to provide us with fairness, truth and justice. I implore Sir John Mitting: don’t let them off the hook.

    Andrea is a pseudonym.



  5. Saturday 26th August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Victim who was duped into two-year relationship ordered to pay shameful Met’s £7,000 court costs

    by Felicity Collier

    AN ACTIVIST who was deceived into a relationship with an undercover police officer has been ordered to pay £7,000 to cover the Met Police’s legal bill for the 2015 court case relating to the scandal.

    Helen Steel is one of eight women who was a victim of the spy cop scandal in which police spies infiltrated campaign groups and trade unions.

    Over a 25-year period, at least four other women brought civil claims against undercover police officers who had deceived them into relationships.

    There were continual cover-ups over the numbers of police spies who exploited the female activists.

    Ms Steel first met John Dines at a London green activists’ meeting in 1987 and, throughout their two-year relationship, knew him as John Barker — but found that he lied about his name, age and background. Police had given him the identity of a dead child.

    Only by tracking down Mr Dines last year did she receive an apology and admission that he had been a spy.

    He was a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad, which targeted protest groups until it disbanded in 2008.

    In 2014, a court ruling allowed the police to maintain that they would “neither confirm nor deny” whether cops were spies and Ms Steel launched an appeal, which she lost.

    At the time, she said she felt angry at the continuing cover-up and “the fact that they can have the audacity to claim that the relationships were genuine in any way.

    “There is no way anybody would consent to a relationship with somebody if they knew they were using the identity of a child who had died, if they knew that they were there to spy on them, if they knew that everything about that person was fake.”

    Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith branded the Met Police shameful.

    He praised Ms Steel for her tireless campaigning and told the Star: “The Met Police have already given a public apology, admitted it was human rights abuse and admitted the identity of John Dines.”

    An ongoing inquiry into undercover policing — originally led by Christopher Pitchford and now overseen by Sir John Mitting — was launched in 2015 in which Ms Steel is a core participant. But it is yet to take evidence from witnesses.

    A friend of one core participant proclaimed they were “flabbergasted at how much control the police have over the evidence and over the process.”

    And Mr Smith accused the police of “using tactics to stifle the public inquiry.”

    At the time, the Met police, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the National Crime Agency were all represented by their own barristers and solicitors at preliminary hearings.

    But the inquiry only paid for one legal team for the victims, though there were 178 organisations and individuals involved.

    The letter, from Weightmans LLP, demands that Ms Steel pay the five-figure sum by Wednesday and informs her that she was sent reminders in August and September 2015.

    Ms Steel took to Twitter to express her dismay, saying: “Morally bankrupt Met Police sent spycop John Dines to invade my life and privacy. Now demand I pay them £7,000 for seeking to expose that!”



  6. Saturday 26th August 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    IN November 2015, Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt of the Metropolitan Police did not mince words when paying tribute to the “courage and tenacity” of eight women bringing legal cases against his force.

    They had been seeking redress for the emotional damage done to them by undercover police who had infiltrated a number of protest groups and formed emotional relationships with the women and their families and friends. The men had then walked out of their lives, their espionage and disruption work seemingly done.

    The behaviour of these undercover officers from the now disbanded Special Demonstration Squad was “totally unacceptable,” Commissioner Hewitt conceded. They had entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women that were “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong.”

    He continued, apparently full of remorse: “These relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma.” They were a “gross violation of personal dignity and integrity.”

    Furthermore, the women themselves were in no way to blame for what had happened to them. They had been deceived, pure and simple. Their “good nature” had been preyed upon by officers who had “manipulated their emotions to a gratuitous extent.”

    The head of the Met’s “Total Professionalism Programme” could barely contain his contrition: “I unreservedly apologise on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service. I am aware that money alone cannot compensate the loss of time, their hurt or the feelings of abuse caused by these relationships,” he declared.

    It’s true that the women were not motivated by money to take action against the Met. That’s why they were prepared to settle out of court for a fulsome public apology.

    Given the scale of abuse inflicted upon them by police officers, whose conduct had descended to the gutter, any fair-minded judge would have awarded the women exemplary damages running to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    All of which makes it utterly disgraceful that the Metropolitan Police are now reviving their demand for £7,000 from each of their women victims for the costs incurred when defending abusive, deceitful and manipulative cops in the Court Of Appeal two years ago.

    It also makes nonsense of Hewitt’s closing words back in November 2015: “In light of this settlement, it is hoped that the claimants will now feel able to move on with their lives,” he prayed, which they could do with their “heads held high.” He closed by commending the women who had “conducted themselves throughout this process with integrity and absolute dignity.”

    If there is any integrity and dignity in the upper reaches of the Met, heads should roll forthwith, beginning with that of Assistant Commissioner Hewitt.

    His should be followed by those of all the undercover officers who have engaged in sexual relations while infiltrating animal rights, peace, environmental and anti-racist groups. They should be joined by those senior officers who — according to at least one of the spies — turned a blind eye to the abuse they knew was going on. Criminal prosecutions should follow.

    The public inquiry under Sir John Mitting into undercover police infiltration of perfectly legal political and campaigning bodies since the 1960s must proceed to throw all the light it can on Britain’s sinister secret state.

    Meanwhile, the Met should drop its claim for costs and offer meaningful financial compensation to the abused women. And not bother with another apology from Hewitt.



  7. Thursday 7th
    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    Core participants have accused Met of stalling faltering probe

    VICTIMS of police spying are “beginning to lose confidence” in the public inquiry into undercover activities, John McDonnell has warned.

    In an interview with the Morning Star published today, the shadow chancellor says Labour must “do everything we can to put pressure on [the inquiry] to make sure it addresses the real issues.”

    The probe, which was known as the Pitchford inquiry before being taken over by Sir John Mitting in July, is set to investigate 50 years of undercover activity by elite police squads — including the infiltration of trade unions and the deception of female activists into relationships.

    But over two years after it was launched, it has yet to hear any evidence. A number of victims designated as “core participants” have accused the Metropolitan Police of attempting to block the inquiry from making progress.

    The Met, which has already spent £4 million of public cash making its case, has argued that much of it should be held in secret.

    Meanwhile, the inquiry team has raised concerns to the Met that at least three officers involved in dealing with inquiry business who were themselves involved in questionable practices.

    Though the police’s costs have been met from the public purse, the inquiry has only paid for one legal team to represent the “non-police, nonstate” core participants at preliminary hearings.

    Mr McDonnell was himself subject to police surveillance when working to secure justice for the family of Ricky Reel, whose death police said was an accident but relatives said was a racist murder.

    He said: “At the moment, people are beginning to lose confidence in it because of the lengthy procedures that have taken place.”

    Environmental activist Helen Steel, who was deceived into a relationship with undercover officer John Dines, said the police were “being allowed to set the pace and direction of this inquiry.”

    She told the Star: “The police are the ones under investigation for serious human rights abuses, yet they have been allowed to keep the evidence which could convict them.

    “The inquiry should release the names of the more than 1,000 groups spied on by these secret political policing units and release the cover names of the undercover officers.

    “Without this information, people who were spied on can’t come forward to give evidence, so the inquiry will be a one-sided whitewash that only hears evidence from the police.”

    The inquiry is now unlikely to begin evidence hearings until the second half of 2019.



  8. Friday 15th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    THE BRITISH government’s refusal to hold a public inquiry into undercover policing in Scotland will be the subject of a public inquiry after campaigners won a legal battle yesterday.

    Lawyers acting for environmental justice campaigner Tilly Gifford launched legal proceedings in October last year after the government decided not to extend the undercover policing inquiry to Scotland.

    At Scotland’s highest civil court, the Court of Session, Lord Arthurson granted permission for the case to move to a full judicial review.

    It is expected to be heard in a few months’ time, possibly early next year.

    The undercover policing inquiry was set up in England and Wales to investigate allegations of misconduct by undercover officers going back as far as 1968.

    There are allegations that undercover Metropolitan Police officers were also involved in spying north of the border, but the Westminster government has refused to extend the probe to Scotland.

    The Scottish government has also declined to set up a similar inquiry, although an independent review was announced last year.

    Ms Gifford, a member of the Plane Stupid campaign group, alleges that she was targeted in Scotland in 2009 by officers who wanted to recruit her as an informant.



  9. Monday 25th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    The Establishment is doing its best to ensure none of the undercover cops are held to account, writes HELEN STEEL

    IN 2011 I was one of eight women who began legal action against the police having discovered that our former long-term partners had actually been undercover policemen infiltrating political and social justice movements in this country.

    The police’s approach from the start was to seek to cover up these abuses, but eventually in November 2015 they were forced to make a public apology acknowledging that they had committed human rights violations which caused serious psychological trauma.

    They also acknowledged that these abuses must never be allowed to happen again.

    Despite this apology, the police and other government agencies are doing their level best to ensure that none of the officers or their supervisors are held to account for what they did.

    The Crown Prosecution Service has refused to charge any of the officers, claiming that the officers would assert that the relationships were “genuine,” irrespective of the massive deceit they practised on us.

    Meanwhile, in the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing which began in 2015 and was supposed to conclude by 2018, the police have been allowed to set the pace of the inquiry with endless applications for secrecy, denying us and other victims access to the truth which is so vital for anyone recovering from abuse.

    Two years into the inquiry, we have had no disclosure about the relationships or the officers involved and the public has learned nothing new about the extent of police abuses or how they were allowed to happen.

    The inquiry has finally acknowledged that upwards of 1,000 groups were spied upon, but it has still not released the names of those groups. In recent indicative findings the new chair of the inquiry has repeatedly come down in favour of secrecy for the police at the expense of truth for victims.

    The new chair of the inquiry, Sir John Mitting, is a member of the Garrick Club, which has consistently voted to exclude women from membership and to remain a men-only club.

    How can someone who accepts the principles of membership of such a club be suited to a role that involves investigating sexist practices and making judgements on institutional sexism within the police and wider legal system?

    In the “Two Year Update” produced by the Public Inquiry in July, the word “women” does not appear at all, despite the seriousness of the abuses committed against women by undercover police officers.

    There are references to the “sensitive issue” of dead children’s identities being used for cover purposes, there are no such references to the long-term abuse of women.

    The inquiry is failing to take seriously the grave abuses we and other women suffered at the hands of the police.

    We now know that police officers engaged in intimate sexual relationships with women while undercover over a period spanning 30 years.

    Detective work by campaigners and journalists has uncovered more similarly abused women within the last couple of years.

    And we believe there are still likely to be many more women (and potentially children) who have been left unable to make sense of events in their lives after the disappearance of their partner when he was pulled out by the police. The extent and nature of this practice amounts to clear institutional sexism.

    Police documents served recently in support of secrecy for the police contain multiple inaccuracies and offensive statements.

    They suggest that our motives for searching for our disappeared partners were sinister and malign, rather than acknowledging that the police abuses would not have come to light without our research and that of the Undercover Research Group.

    Furthermore, public protests seeking accountability for the actions of police who have committed abuses have offensively been labelled harassment, despite the fact that protest is a protected right.

    It is wrong that the Met Police has unlimited resources to impugn those who were spied on and abused.

    This is a similar tactic — now thoroughly condemned — to that used by the police at Hillsborough, and it must not be allowed to continue.

    The Hillsborough Law proposals should be implemented, so that victims of police abuses have the right to receive the same amount of funding as the police during inquiries into police misconduct.

    The release of cover names which the officers used while they were infiltrating protest movements is a critical step the inquiry must take.

    Unless these are released it is clear the inquiry will be a one-sided whitewash — witnesses will not be able to come forward to give evidence to the inquiry without knowing who the spies were.

    This means that the inquiry will not be able to identify the true scale and nature of the abuses perpetrated and the level at which they were sanctioned.

    Secret political policing represents a massive interference with the public’s right to protest and to seek to improve the way society is run.

    Transparency in this Public Inquiry is essential in order for the truth to be known, for the public to have any confidence in the inquiry and ultimately to prevent these human rights abuses from happening again.



  10. Friday 6th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    William Paul Lewis ‘may have encountered individuals involved with the International Marxist Group or the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign’

    THE cover name of another police spy who infiltrated left-wing campaigns was released yesterday.

    A notice issued by the Undercover Policing Inquiry said that William Paul Lewis, known simply as “Bill”, “may have been encountered by
    individuals involved with the International Marxist Group or the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign.”

    He was deployed between 1968 and 1969, the inquiry said — which would mean he was one of the first officers in the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad.

    This elite unit was set up to gather long-term intelligence on protest groups following demos against the Vietnam war.

    The public inquiry into undercover policing was set up two years ago following revelations of officers’ activities — including the deception of women activists into relationships.

    It has still not held any evidence hearings and is unlikely to do so until the second half of 2019.



  11. Thursday 12th October 2017

    posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

    VICTIMS of the spycops scandal are demanding that new inquiry chair Sir John Mitting be sacked after he hinted he will hold hearings in secret.

    A packed meeting in parliament on Tuesday night, which included victims of the undercover officers, voted unanimously to send the high court judge packing.

    Mr Mitting has indicated on the inquiry website that he may hear evidence in closed sessions despite victims campaigning for an open and transparent investigation.

    Doreen and Neville Lawrence, whose son Stephen was murdered by racists in 1993, are among the victims of the undercover spying operation.

    Mr Lawrence told the meeting he and many other victims of undercover police spying had “lost faith” in the inquiry given the new direction taken by Mitting.

    Imran Khan, lawyer for Ms Lawrence and the Blacklist Support Group, told the meeting there had been a “paradigm shift” since Mr Mitting took over.

    Victims say that in the three years since the inquiry was ordered, not a single witness has given evidence and not a single document disclosed to the lawyers of the victims. They accused the police of “deliberate obstruction.”

    Stafford Scott, from Tottenham Rights, told the meeting that “families of murder victims are being denied access to files kept on them” due to ongoing institutional racism by the Met Police.

    Dave Smith, a blacklisted trade union activist, said that victims had “always been sceptical whether the British state would truly expose the truth about the UK’s secret political police units.”

    MP Naz Shah chaired the meeting, promising to raise the concerns on the home affairs select committee and with the Home Secretary.

    The inquiry was set up by then home secretary Theresa May in 2014 after it was revealed that police officers who infiltrated political campaign groups had formed intimate relationships with campaigners.

    They even stole the identities of dead children to cover their real identities.

    The government chose Mr Mitting to chair the inquiry after the original chairman, Lord Justice Pitchford, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.



  12. Thursday 12th
    posted by Morning Star in Editorial
    CONCERNS that Sir John Mitting is turning a supposedly public inquiry into undercover policing into a secret investigation should be urgently addressed.

    Three years have passed since the inquiry was announced by then home secretary Theresa May and yet no witnesses have given evidence — with public evidence now not due until 2019.

    We should not forget what prompted the investigation — the independent review into the way the police had handled the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which proved the latest in a series of devastating revelations of institutional malpractice.

    That undercover officers were working to smear the parents of the murdered teenager in order to discredit their calls for a proper investigation was shocking enough.

    But it is just one example of the abuse of power by unaccountable, untouchable spycops.

    We have learned since that over 1,000 groups were infiltrated by spooks — many of them entirely legal political, environmental or solidarity campaigns — that officers stole the identities of dead children to use as covers and that women were duped into long-term sexual relationships with men who weren’t who they said they were and who disappeared from their lives when their assignments were over.

    There are even offspring resulting from these monstrous breaches of trust.

    Following the campaign to uncover the truth about the Hillsborough disaster — a decades-long fight for justice by the families of the 96 that was nothing to do with May despite her absurd claims to have “ensured justice” for the victims — and the ongoing struggle for a public inquiry into the police riot against unarmed striking miners at Orgreave, the discovery of the sordid abuse of women by members of the Special Demonstration Squad give the lie to liberal fantasies about an apolitical police force which only exists to uphold the law of the land.

    On the contrary, there is evidence that the police colluded with the illegal blacklisting of workers who raised concerns over safety at work or whose trade union activity proved a thorn in the side of management.

    The Met itself has admitted that “these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma.”

    Women who have been so abused deserve justice, and this can only come through the publication of the various aliases used by undercover police and of a list of organisations which were infiltrated.

    But the issue runs deeper than that. Because the power of the secret state in Britain has not waned in recent years: it has grown.

    When a court ruled last year that British intelligence services had been illegally gathering information on citizens for 17 years, the government’s response was not to halt the abuse but to make it legal.

    Last year’s Investigatory Powers Act, more commonly known as the Snoopers’ Charter, provides for the bulk harvesting of personal data on all of us, giving the government access to information on who we phone, text or email and every website we visit.

    In the name of combatting terrorism, the government has given its agents carte blanche to spy on everyone all the time, while barring disclosure of such activities in court.

    Socialist comedian Mark Steel once pointed out that among the first things a young activist learns are that “the police aren’t neutral; the press isn’t fair.”

    A secret state ranged on the side of power and wealth poses a serious threat to any movement wishing to change this country, and challenging it must be on the agenda of everyone involved in Britain’s socialist revival.

    That means ensuring the Undercover Policing Inquiry isn’t a whitewash but a thorough, public investigation into police malpractice which ends in action to prevent such abuses happening again.



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  14. Tuesday 24th October 2017

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    Abuse survivors accuse police of obstruction

    POLICE are building an “impenetrable wall of silence” around their darkest secrets and practices, according to a report published today.

    Sir John Mitting, the new chair of the public inquiry into undercover policing, will make a statement next month on the “future conduct” of the troubled probe at a preliminary hearing.

    The inquiry was set up by the government following revelations that officers infiltrated activist groups and trade unions, deceiving women activists into long-term relationships.

    But two years after its launch, the inquiry has still not heard any evidence — and victims of undercover spying have accused the Metropolitan Police of obstructing its progress.

    Now a new report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies says there is “no clear avenue for establishing the most basic of facts” for “deceived, stonewalled” activists.

    The report, titled The Undercover Policing of Political Protest, says the current set-up for disclosure of information leaves an “immense concentration of power in the hands of the police.”

    Since the inquiry was established, the Met has strongly resisted the publication of officers’ cover names and has been accused of destroying files relating to undercover activities.

    Yesterday Mr Mitting announced he was “minded to” publish the cover names of four further undercover officers and the real name of one.

    The report’s author Helen Mills, a senior associate of the centre, said: “The slow progress of the undercover policing inquiry means that many victims of police spying, as well as wider public, are questioning whether the police will ever be held to account by the people they purportedly serve.”

    Officers of elite police squads infiltrated campaign groups on a long-term basis. Some information gathered on union activists was supplied to a secretive cartel of construction companies for a blacklist of so-called troublemakers.



  15. Tuesday 24th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    MORE than three years after the then Home Secretary Theresa May announced the government’s intention to establish the undercover policing inquiry, none of the 180 registered victims of state dirty tricks have yet been called to give evidence.

    Not that we have no idea of what they might say. Many will testify how members of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad — since disbanded — infiltrated their protest organisations, spied on them, fed back information to smear them, incited and in at least one case committed acts of terrorism in order to discredit them.

    The infiltration not only involved lying and deception in order to win and betray personal friendships. It even went so far as forming long-term, family and sexual relationships with women who then bore children — only to be deserted as their plain-clothed partners stole away like thieves in the night.

    The organisations and individuals chosen for such treatment were and are perfectly legal campaigning bodies, whose activities were in almost all cases non-violent if not always lawful. They included environmental, anti-racist, anarchist and animal rights groups.

    Furthermore, the remit of Sir John Mitting’s public inquiry extends to the collusion between police officers and private companies engaged in the vetting and victimisation of trade unionists, as well as the targeting of members of Parliament for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

    Now, thanks to a report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, we know the chief reason for the inquiry’s lack of progress. The Metropolitan Police has been doing its utmost to withhold valuable information and destroy vital evidence.

    The powers that be will not be grief-stricken by such sabotage, although in his forthcoming statement on the future conduct of proceedings we can expect Mitting to express suitable anxiety and regret.

    The fact is that his inquiry was only established in the first place because of public outrage over the vile, psychopathic behaviour of undercover police officers.

    There was also widespread concern about the use of state power to disrupt and undermine perfectly legitimate organisations exercising their democratic rights in what claims to be a free society.

    Of course, the matters referred to this inquiry are merely the scum on the surface of a vast, murky and putrid pool.

    For the past century, the British state has conducted thousands of covert operations against individuals and organisations adjudged to threaten the capitalist and imperialist order.

    While some of the dirty linen has been exposed or divulged for public display, much of it remains concealed in closed files where not destroyed altogether.

    Throughout that time, those in the highest echelons of the state apparatus have perfected the ways in which they deflect, frustrate or discredit attempts to uncover the truth about power and wealth.

    The repressive agencies of the British state have long worked fist in glove with big business and foreign intelligence services — from the US and apartheid South Africa to Israel and Australia — to combat the forces of democracy, labour and socialism.

    The Mitting inquiry will punch another, very necessary hole in the wall of state secrecy only if it insists that the identities of all accused police officers are revealed, that they face their accusers in an open and public forum and that all relevant documents are secured and made available. Anything less will merely add to the scrap-heap of tame, censored and ineffectual charades that characterise British judicial inquiries.



  16. Wednesday 6th December 2017

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    AN INQUIRY into undercover policing will not release either the real name or the alias of an officer accused of spying on the friends and family of Stephen Lawrence.

    Inquiry chairman Sir John Mitting announced yesterday that he will publish the “cover names” of five officers in the new year. These include one officer, known as HN81, who was key to the Met’s infiltration of the murdered teenager’s family’s campaign for justice.

    The real names of the five will remain withheld.

    But Mr Mitting has ruled that another officer alleged to have been involved in the operation, HN123, should have both his real name and his cover name protected.

    The family were targeted alongside a range of social justice campaigns, environmental groups and trade unions by deep cover officers from elite squads.

    A number of officers deceived women activists into long-term relationships. Police have also been accused of passing information on construction workers to a blacklisting organisation.

    Mr Mitting wrote in his ruling that “the balance of that information suggests that the part which [HN123] may have played in activities connected with the Stephen Lawrence campaign was peripheral.”

    But he notes that another former officer, the whistleblower Peter Francis “suggests otherwise.”

    HN123 is said to have retired from the police after being “diagnosed as suffering from significant mental health conditions resulting, at least in part, from the effects of his deployment.”

    He has refused to co-operate with the Metropolitan Police’s risk assessors, who are testing the impact that revealing officers’ identities will have on their health.

    But Mr Mitting said he accepted that statements from HN123 and his wife were “genuine and not irrational.”

    He said overriding these statements would “interfere with their right to respect for private and family life” under the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The Met admitted only this week that the deception of activist Kate Wilson into a relationship breached the convention, including article three, which governs torture.

    Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith, who is a “core participant” in the public inquiry, said: “Words fucking fail me. The police have now admitted that their tactics against women activists broke laws on torture but still demand the right to give evidence in secret in case it breaches their human rights.”

    Mr Mitting rejected calls from targeted activists to publish the real names of other officers, including HN81. A closed inquiry hearing will consider two further cases.



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