Review into controversial undercover policing announced

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson. Picture Ian Rutherford

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson. Picture Ian Rutherford

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A review will be held into controversial undercover policing after the Home Office rejected calls for an independent inquiry to be extended to Scotland.

Justice secretary Michael Matheson yesterday confirmed that he had asked HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) to carry out the work.

It follows a decision by the UK government not to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry led by Sir Christopher Pitchford north of the 
Border.

Undercover operatives working for the Metropolitan Police, including notorious officer Mark Kennedy, are known to have spied on political activists in Scotland.

Mr Matheson said: “I am firmly of the view that an extension of the Pitchford inquiry’s terms of reference to cover the activities of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the Special Demonstration Squad in Scotland is still the right thing to do and am disappointed that the UK government has refused to do so.”

Scottish Labour MSP and Pitchford campaigner Neil Findlay said: “This review fails to provide anything for Scottish victims prior to the year 2000 and it is not the full public inquiry that is under way in England and Wales.”

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