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Undercover Policing

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 10:36 am on 26th March 2015.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 10:36 am, 26th March 2015

I am pleased that this story has finally come out. As Members of Parliament we are in a position to raise questions with the Home Office and demand that the truth come out, but unfortunately many others who—unknown to us—were under surveillance do not have that opportunity. The question is one of accountability of the Metropolitan police. Who authorised this tapping? Who knew about it? Did the Home Secretary or successive Home Secretaries know about it? If they did, why did they not accept the Wilson doctrine on MPs, and why did they allow this covert operation to go on within the Metropolitan police? I am surprised that in his answer a few moments ago, the Minister said that the files might be released to us, but that they may have to be redacted for security reasons. If I was under surveillance, or the late Bernie Grant or any of my friends, then presumably the police were at whatever meetings we attended and recorded whatever phone calls we made. I think we have a right to know about that. We represent constituents and are in a position of trust with them. That trust is betrayed by this invasion of our privacy by the Metropolitan police. I ask again: can we have a full, unredacted version of everything that was written about us and every piece of surveillance that was undertaken of us, our families and our friends?