Scotland politics

Calls for undercover policing inquiry to include Scotland

Mark Kennedy Image copyright Guardian
Image caption Mark Kennedy is said to have been among the undercover officers who targeted campaigners in Scotland

Calls for a probe into undercover policing to be extended to Scotland have won cross-party support.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay has appealed to Home Secretary Theresa May and Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended.

Mr Findlay was backed by MSPs, MPs and MEPs from Labour, the Greens, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael has lodged a Westminster motion making a similar call, supported by SNP MPs.

The Pitchford Inquiry has been set up in England and Wales to study undercover policing, amid allegations of undercover officers fathering children and causing miscarriages of justice.

The Metropolitan Police force has issued an "unreserved apology" and agreed compensation packages for seven women deceived into having relationships with undercover officers.

There have been calls for the probe to be extended to cover Scotland, after claims officers involved in the probe also spied north of the border.

It has been claimed that undercover Met officers including Mark Kennedy, one of five officers who is known to have had relationships with women, infiltrated environmental groups ahead of the Gleneagles G8 summit.

Mr Matheson wrote to Ms May himself in December 2015 asking for the inquiry's remit to be expanded, although he noted at the time that he had not seen any "concrete evidence" that rules had been broken in Scotland.

'Wholly unjust'

Mr Findlay has been pressing the issue hard, lodging his first motion of the new Holyrood term on the subject.

He has now gathered signatures for his letters from a wide range of politicians, including Labour and Green MSPs and Conservative MEP Ian Duncan.

Mr Carmichael also added his name, having submitted a motion of his own at Westminster in May. That motion was signed by a number of SNP MPs.

Mr Findlay's letter states that there is a "growing body of evidence" that covert officers "operated in Scotland monitoring a broad range of campaigns and campaigners", and "engaged in discredited practices".

It adds: "We cannot have a situation where English and Welsh victims have access to an inquiry but Scottish citizens don't. It is our view that this would be wholly unjust."

Mr Findlay said: "I am pleased that so many elected representatives agree with me that the Pitchford Inquiry is extended to include Scotland.

"If Pitchford is not extended to Scotland then it is incumbent on the Scottish government to hold its own inquiry. We cannot be left with a situation where justice and truth is denied to Scots whilst others are able find out and understand the extent of what went on."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites