The child fathered by Bob Lambert while working undercover infiltrating animal rights and anarchist groups in the eighties is suing his employer, the Metropolitan Police. Yesterday it was revealed the man, now 32 and known as TBS, is seeking compensation and an apology but the Met applied to have the lawful struck out in the High Court. Justice Nichol refused to strike out the claim as : “It does not seem to me that there is anything factually incoherent in his [assertions]”.
Lambert has married with two children but began an intimate relationship with Jacqui, an activist 10 years his junior, soon after his deployment began in 1984. Their son was born a year later. He was there during her 14 hour labour and according to Jacqui he was besotted with their baby. She says they were happy together at first but later he became more distant and complained when she was too tired to have sex with him.
In 1986 a group of London Greenpeace activists, myself included, went to an animal sanctuary in Pitsea, Essex. I took a photo of a us working there, in which Lambert is holding his son who was then about one year old. This is to the best of my knowledge the only time I remember seeing them together. I did meet him and Jacqui on a couple of occasions but he rarely spoke about her and by the following year he had another girlfriend, Belinda, who remained with him until his deployment finished early in 1989.
Lambert told Belinda and Jacqui that he had to flee abroad to evade the police. In reality he went back to Scotland Yard and later became operations manager of the secret unit he had once worked for, the Special Demonstrations Squad. Jacqui became a single parent and told TBS that his father was “really passionate about his animal rights and he had no choice, it was either stick around and get arrested or go, so it was for the best.”
Jacqui discovered the truth about Lambert by chance from a newspaper article in 2012. By then he had a public role as a writer and academic and she tracked him down. In an interview with the Guardian, TBS said:
“It is quite scary to me just how the police can dip in and out of people’s lives. They still seem to struggle with realising the impact of what they have done. They seem to think it’s OK not to talk about it because they have got to protect undercover officers out there…It seems very bizarre that when I was born there was not someone who said: ‘Right, this has gone too far, there’s a whole new life here.'”
Jules Carey of Bindmans described the Met’s attempt to have the case struck out as “morally ambiguous” and called on them to give his client the “answers that he is so desperate for and the apology for their interference in his family life that he deserves.” The Police have refused to comment.