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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 Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Labour, Hackney North and Stoke Newington 10:36 am, 26th March 2015

As one of the people under surveillance in the 1990s, I assure the House that I was never engaged in anything illegal and I certainly was not engaged in seeking to undermine democracy. On the contrary, many of the campaigns I was involved in served to reinforce democracy by engaging with people who otherwise thought they did not have a voice, notably the Stephen Lawrence campaign. I am clear in my mind that that surveillance could not have happened without authorisation at a very senior level, and I want to know who authorised it and on what grounds. Above all I feel I am entitled to an unredacted copy of my file. What happened is not just a breach of privilege, it is a breach of the privacy and confidence of the many people I have worked with down the years on the campaigning I did in the 1990s.