NUJ demands access to information and evidence from the undercover policing inquiry
6 November 2020
This afternoon John Hendy QC, representing a group of trade unions, addressed the undercover policing inquiry and focused on the legal framework that confers legitimacy on trade unions, their representatives and their activity, arguing trade unions are essential to a democratic society.
He said there is no legitimacy or justification for the surveillance or infiltration of trade unions and their representatives, and he highlighted the NUJ's assertions that undercover policing has been used as a method to glean information about journalistic sources.
In response to the opening of the inquiry this week, the NUJ has called on the authorities to improve the levels of transparency and accountability about undercover policing during at the inquiry.
Earlier this week the inquiry published a Special Branch report of a meeting of the editorial board of the publication 'Indo-China' from 25 Jun 1971.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The NUJ is not surprised that Special Branch was attending and interfering with editorial meetings in the early 1970s. The union is calling on the public inquiry to publish more documents, more evidence and more information relating to undercover policing and journalism.
"The inquiry should be able to confirm or deny if undercover policing units and agents were put into media organisations. We are entitled to know if the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit have been spying on journalists or our union."