Inquiry into undercover policing should shine a light into blacklisting and union infiltration

Construction union UCATT have issued a note of caution regarding today’s (March 12th) announcement that the Government is to hold a judge led inquiry into undercover policing and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad.

While the inquiry is significant as information on the files of victims of blacklisting can only have been supplied by the police and the security forces. However, UCATT understands that whether to include issues surrounding blacklisting, will be solely at the discretion of the chairman of the inquiry, Appeal Court Judge Lord Justice Pickford.

Last week UCATT revealed how Mark Jenner a police officer with the SDS, had infiltrated the union, during the time he was spying on Left-wing and working class groups, having assumed the identity of Mark Cassidy a carpenter.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “The announcement of the inquiry is an admission the SDS was out of control. The police including the SDS were involved in passing information to blacklisters and it is important that the inquiry does not avoid examining this disgusting practice.”

UCATT have been campaigning for a full public inquiry into blacklisting. The union believes that while an inquiry into undercover policing can and should feed into a blacklisting inquiry but it does not negate the need for a full public inquiry into blacklisting.

Mr Murphy added: “This inquiry must look at the role of police in infiltrating unions and blacklisting. However the remit of the inquiry will be far too narrow to expose the full truth behind blacklisting and for that we need a full public inquiry into blacklisting.
“The only way blacklisted workers and their families can have faith in an inquiry is when it is held in public.”

The Labour Party is committed to hold an inquiry into blacklisting “which is both public and transparent.”

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