MSPs want undercover police inquiry extended

More than 30 members of Holyroods opposition parties have added their names to an open letter to the Home Secretary. Picture: PA

More than 30 members of Holyroods opposition parties have added their names to an open letter to the Home Secretary. Picture: PA

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A cross-party group of MSPs has called on Home Secretary Theresa May to extend to Scotland an inquiry into undercover policing.

More than 30 members of Holyrood’s opposition parties have added their names to an open letter, which has also been sent to justice secretary Michael Matheson.

The MSPs want the UK Government to extend the remit of the Pitchford inquiry so that it covers the activity of Metropolitan Police officers north of the border.

Undercover operatives, including notorious officer Mark Kennedy, are known to have spied on political activists in Scotland during the G8 summit in 2005.

Campaigners say Kennedy and a number of other Metropolitan Police officers infiltrated environmental groups in the run-up to the Gleneagles summit and carried on spying on them for years afterwards.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who has led calls for Pitchford to be extended to Scotland, said: “I am pleased that so many elected representatives agree with me that the Pitchford inquiry is extended to include Scotland.

“The evidence of Scottish links to the undercover policing scandal is compelling and grows by the week. If Pitchford does not include Scotland we will be left with the absurd situation where Scottish people are denied justice yet victims in England and Wales will have access to it.

“If Pitchford is not extended to Scotland then it is incumbent on the SNP Government to hold its own Scottish 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.”

Last year, the Metropolitan Police issued an “unreserved apology” to seven women deceived into having relationships with undercover officers, including Kennedy.

The inquiry led by Lord Justice Pitchford is looking at undercover police operations in England and Wales dating back to 1968, but its remit does not currently extend to ­Scotland.

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