Labour calls for "Spy Cop" inquiry to extend to Scotland

Labour's Neil Findlay has called for a new inquiry on the use of undercover policing operations in Scotland, after the publication of a list of more than 200 groups spied upon in England.

The list, published by the Guardian, shows the range of political and non-political groups who were infiltrated by police forces in England.

Information on the list has been compiled from the ongoing Pitchford inquiry, but this inquiry does not cover the operations of English forces such as the Metropolitan Police in Scotland. Meanwhile the Scottish Government’s own probe into the matter only examined Police Scotland’s operations, which Labour says creates a gap in the inquiries.

Mr Findlay has now lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament calling for victims of these operations in Scotland to have a parallel inquiry opened by the Scottish Government.

In a statement, the Labour MSP said: “More than 200 community groups, trade unions, political activist groups and civil liberties organisations have been identified as targets of undercover policing stings in England by the Pitchford inquiry so far."

“As these operations begin to enter the public domain in England, victims of the same or similar operations in Scotland are left in the dark due to a gap in the inquiry’s remit."

“Many of these groups who were spied upon had members or branches in Scotland, yet there is no way currently of knowing if they also fell prey to infiltration by undercover officers."

“It is therefore vital that the Scottish Government now creates a parallel public inquiry to ensure victims of undercover policing in Scotland get the answers and justice they deserve.”

Scottish Labour's Justice spokesperson, Daniel Johnson MSP, added: "Scotland's victims of undercover police infiltration cannot be left in the dark."

"It is simply unacceptable for victims to be denied answers and justice because of their postcode."

"The Justice Secretary must look again at this issue and listen to Labour's call for a parallel inquiry in Scotland."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The case is currently with the Court of Session and, as such, the Scottish Government has no further comment to make prior to the court’s judgement being made.”

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