Pressure grows for inquiry into undercover police

Calls for an inquiry are growing after claims an officer infiltrated environmental groups in run-up to G8 summit. Picture: John Devlin
Calls for an inquiry are growing after claims an officer infiltrated environmental groups in run-up to G8 summit. Picture: John Devlin
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Pressure is growing on the Scottish Government to examine claims a notorious undercover police officer was involved in spying by the Metropolitan Police north of the Border. Activists say Mark Kennedy infiltrated environmental groups in the run-up to the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005 and may have carried on spying on those he met there for years afterwards.

Last month, the Met issued an “unreserved apology” to seven women tricked into having relationships with undercover officers including Kennedy. An inquiry led by Lord Justice Pitchford is looking at undercover police operations in England and Wales dating back to 1968. The remit of the inquiry does not extend to ­Scotland.

Kate Wilson, an activist who had a two-year relationship with Kennedy before his identity was revealed, was arrested but never charged while taking part in demonstrations in Edinburgh during the G8 summit.

She said Kennedy had been among the undercover officers sent to Scotland to spy on activists.

She added: “Do the Met just have free reign to do what they want in Scotland?”

Ms Wilson, who is not one of the seven women who received an apology from the Met, is taking legal action against the police force. She added: “We don’t know the full details of what the Met got up to in Scotland, but that’s a question the Scottish Parliament surely needs to ask.”

Labour MSP Neil Findlay: “This is yet further evidence of undercover police officers operating in Scotland most certainly immorally and possibly illegally. It’s clear that we now need a public inquiry into the activities of undercover officers in ­Scotland.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Office of Surveillance Commissioners has never raised an issue, either directly with Scottish ministers or through Police Scotland, regarding any allegations relating to the activity of undercover officers and there are already strong safeguards in place.”

“We will, however, carefully consider the conclusions of the Pitchford Inquiry.”