Legal win for undercover policing campaigners

Tilly Gifford was the campaigner who brought the legal action
Tilly Gifford was the campaigner who brought the legal action
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Campaigners for an inquiry into undercover policing have won permission to proceed to a judicial review.

Environmentalist Tilly Gifford is seeking a judicial review into a decision by the Home Office not to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry to cover Scotland.

Today at the Court of Session, Lord Arthurson granted permission for the case to proceed to a full judicial review.

Ms Gifford was one of seven protesters belonging to the group Plane Stupid who occupied a taxiway at Aberdeen airport in March 2009.

She later recorded exchanges with men claiming to be from Strathclyde Police who indicated they could pay her for any information she had.

The public inquiry is investigating undercover policing dating back as far as 1968, but its remit does not cover Scotland and the Scottish Government has declined to set up a similar inquiry.

MSPs believe there is a growing body of evidence to show both the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) and the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) monitored a range of campaigners in Scotland and that a number of Scottish officers had been seconded to the units.

Police Scotland’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, was head of Special Branch in 2006 – the division which had responsibility for the SDS.