Social justice campaigner Tilly Gifford is fighting the decision of the Scottish government not to hold a public inquiry into undercover policing. Like other victims of spycops she questions why the original inquiry set up by Theresa May in 2015 only covers England and Wales.
A recent report by the Scottish Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, Political Undercover Policing in Scotland, highlights the extent of infiltration of campaigns and protests. Those spycops known to visited Scotland include John Dines, Mark Jenner, Carlo Neri, Mark Kennedy, Lynn Watson, Simon Wellings, Jason Bishop and Dave Evans. Indeed the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005 was considered so important that every known police spy was deployed there.
In addition English undercover officers who had intimate relations with female activists went on holiday to Scotland with them. They were John Dines, Carlo Neri and Mark Kennedy. According to the SCOPS report: “The women each emphasise the importance of these visits to Scotland to cement the relationships”. The Met later conceded that such relationships were “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong” and a violations of the women’s human rights.
In October 2016 Tilly launched judicial review proceedings against both the Home Office and the Scottish Government over their failure to set up an inquiry. In September 2017, Lord Brailsford of Edinburgh’s Court of Session gave permission for a full judicial review hearing to take place. But in July 2018 the Court of Session ruled that neither the UK nor the Scottish government had acted unlawfully in refusing to extend the undercover policing inquiry to Scotland. Tilly says:
Lady Carmichael, in her judgment, refused to consider the human rights argument on what we consider to be flawed and irrelevant technical grounds. She also dismissed out-of-hand the relevance of the report. We consider her judgment to be egregiously conservative, opaque and self-contradictory.
Tilly is no longer eligible for legal aid and is now seeking a Protected Expenses Order from the Court. She believes the UK and Scottish government will oppose this and therefore a hearing will be necessary. In order to cover her costs there is a crowdfunding appeal. It closes at 8am on Sunday 16 June. Please give generously to enable the fight for justice to continue.
“From the deployment of Metropolitan Police spies at the G8 summit to the management of spying units by the then head of Scottish Police, the actions of police spies in Scotland should not be excluded from an inquiry or indeed from truth and justice.”
The SCOPS Report Political Undercover Policing in Scotland https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/crowdjustice/download/documents/Political+Undercover+Policing+in+Scotland.pdf