CAMPAIGNERS have demanded that the Scottish Government launch an inquiry into the secret activities of an undercover Metropolitan police officer who infiltrated protest groups north of the border.
Activist Jason Kirkpatrick said notorious ex-Met officer Mark Kennedy’s spying on protesters at the G8 in Gleneagles was extensive and suspects he tampered with his group’s media work during the 2005 global summit.
However, he believes his concerns will be not heard at the Pitchford Inquiry – set up by the UK Government to investigate undercover policing – as the judge-led probe only relates to England and Wales.
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Kirkpatrick’s claims are backed by up fellow activist Ellenor Hutson, who told MSPs earlier this month that she had worked alongside Kennedy at the G8 when he was the so-called “transport coordinator” for protestors.
It is also understood that one of the intimate relationships Kennedy had with a female campaigner took place during the G8 and is the subject of legal action.
A cross-party group of MSPs has now called on the Scottish Government to launch its own inquiry into the undercover policing scandal.
Kennedy – who was known as Mark “Flash” Stone - pretended to be an environmental activist for seven years from 2003, but was really an undercover officer for the police service's National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).
He and other officers infiltrated protest groups before his double life was exposed by political activists.
Kennedy largely operated in the UK but visited a host of foreign countries and had a fake passport.
Picture: the Home Secretary
A number of females are suing the Met on the grounds that they were deceived into having intimate relationships with undercover officers, including Kennedy.
Home Secretary Theresa May has tasked Lord Justice Pitchford with investigating the NPOIU and the Special Demonstration Squad, which allegedly spied on the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
However, May said the Inquiry would focus on “undercover police operations in England and Wales”, which excludes Scotland.
Kirkpatrick, a former Vice-Mayor of Arcata in California who now lives in Berlin, had a five-year friendship with Kennedy which included staying at each other’s homes.
The campaigner played a key role in liaising with the media during the G8 in Gleneagles, while Kennedy organised transport for the activists.
Speaking to this newspaper, Kirkpatrick said: “I was with Kennedy a lot more in Scotland than anywhere else, but it will be excluded from the Inquiry because Scotland is excluded from the Inquiry. I want answers.”
Kirkpatrick said Kennedy had access to the media base he worked in: “I suspect that Mark Kennedy and police agencies he was connected to may have organised to interfere with my sending of press releases.”
The Berlin-based activist also said he had a brief relationship during the G8 with a woman who claimed she was part of the legal observer team.
However, he said she vanished without trace after around seven days: “I may have been unwittingly targeted to have an intimate relationship by a possible undercover officer, "Khris" from London, in order to interfere with my press work.
“Shortly after completing my press work, Khris then disappeared, in a manner similar to the ‘extraction process’ used by known undercover officers when extracting themselves from their operations.”
Kirkpatrick said a friend who also carried out G8 press work had concerns about infiltration: “[She] told me of multiple phone calls she received on the press phone where anonymous callers gave false and misleading information, for example, about riots, flipped over police cars, or US Marines being stationed in the forests, which were then proven to be false.
“There is a sincere concern that these anonymous calls may have come from police intending to spread lies and false rumours, possibly with intent to discredit our legitimate press work.”
He added that one of the females who is suing the Met for being deceived into a relationship with an undercover officer was with Kennedy in Scotland.
She and Kirkpatrick have ‘core participant’ status at the Pitchford Inquiry, which means they can have reasonable legal costs paid as well as access to all relevant public evidence.
Separately, activist Ellenor Hutson addressed a meeting of MSPs and campaigners recently at Holyrood in which she spoke of Kennedy’s G8 activities.
She said she had dealt with him during the summit and relayed stories of women who had been duped into having relationships with undercover officers.
Following Hutson’s appearance at the Parliament, MSPs led by Labour’s Neil Findlay have written to Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson about a separate inquiry north of the border.
The cross-party group – John Finnie, John Wilson, Jean Urquhart, Margaret McDougall, Cara Hilton, Elaine Smith, Jayne Baxter, Mary Fee, Hugh Henry and Findlay - believe there is now a “growing body of evidence” to warrant a Scottish inquiry.
They wrote: “In England and Wales the Home Secretary has established the Pitchford inquiry which will look at undercover policing there. We are however very concerned that, given our policing is devolved; Scotland does not have a similar inquiry running.
“We are therefore calling upon you to establish a full public inquiry into these matters and how they have impacted upon people and communities across Scotland.”
“I hope you will agree that Scottish workers, environmentalists and trade unions have the right to access the truth and that we will only access that truth by having such an inquiry. We hope you will agree to this request.”
The letter also mentions undercover policing in connection with the anti-poll tax movement and the Miners’ strike.
Picture: Neil Findlay MSP
Findlay had asked Matheson earlier this month whether the Government would launch its own inquiry, but the suggestion was rebuffed.
“I will ensure that any allegations are passed on to the appropriate body for its consideration. I should say that the member has not to date, despite having said a lot about the matter, contacted me with any specific allegations that he wishes to have investigated,” Matheson said.
Kirkpatrick also wants a separate inquiry in Scotland: "Many of us core participants in the ongoing Inquiry covering England and Wales already fear growing tendencies towards it being a whitewash. I'm sure myself and many other targets of undercover policing would fully welcome a properly done Inquiry in Scotland."
Dave Smith, a blacklisted construction worker who also has core participant status, believes the Scottish angle must be fully investigated: “This is a major human rights scandal and the idea that a Conservative Home Secretary would set up an inquiry for England and Wales, but for the Scottish evidence not to be heard is unbelievable. I just find that politically implausible.”
Relatedly, German MPs have called for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended to include Kennedy’s activities on German soil, but the Government has declined to change the terms of reference.
Hans-Christian Strobele, a German Green, contacted May but was rebuffed by her departmental minister Mike Penning.
The junior minister confirmed the terms of reference limited the Inquiry’s scope to England and Wales.
In 2011, Kennedy confirmed his NPOIU role and expressed regret: “I had two relationships while I was undercover, one of which was serious. I am the first one to hold up my hands and say, yes, that was wrong.
“I crossed the line. I fell deeply in love with the second woman. I was embedded into a group of people for nearly a decade. They became my friends. They supported me and they loved me. All I can do now is tell the truth.”
He also said: “My superior officer told me on more than one occasion, particularly during the G8 protests in Scotland in 2005, that information I was providing was going directly to Tony Blair’s desk.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government will respond to the MSPs’ letter once it has been received and we have considered it in full.”