Firefighters' union backs walk out from Spycops inquiry

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has backed a walkout of participants from the public inquiry into undercover police spying.

The action came in response to the failure of the Mitting inquiry to make any real progress in three years and the refusal of the judge chairing the inquiry, Sir John Mitting, to reveal the identities of police officers who spied on trade unionists, campaigners and activists over many decades.

The FBU was given core participant status in the inquiry after the union presented evidence of police spying on a number of officials over many years.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, and one of the trade unionists who was spied upon, said: “We know that the police spied on the FBU and its representatives over many decades. But since we presented our evidence we have not been given a single document, heard one testimony or had anything else from the inquiry to account for this behaviour.

“If the police can hide their identities, we will not know what they did, or when, to whom or the full extent of their spying. Police officers engaged in terrible acts and the victims deserve justice. But we have been ignored for too long.

“That’s why the FBU supports the other core participants’ protest. This judge has failed to hold the police to account for their actions. He should think again or get out of the way, so someone else can take it up.

“This is also Theresa May’s failure. She set up the inquiry when she was home secretary. She has heard some of the stories of people affected. But the inquiry has been slow and restrictive. Most of what we have learned in the last three years has come from investigative journalists. This is Westminster’s mess and they should clear it up.”


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