NUJ calls for greater transparency at policing public inquiry

  • 23 Apr 2021

As the second phase of the undercover policy public inquiry starts in London this week, the NUJ has called on the authorities to deliver meaningful transparency.

For a public inquiry to fulfil its purpose, it must ensure the media and the public are able to access key information, documents, evidence, and witness testimony yet in this case the only venue where witnesses and the public can see a (delayed) live-stream of the hearings is at the Amba hotel in London. No audio-visual transmission of the evidence will be made outside the hearing room except in the case of any witness who requests it.

The undercover policing public inquiry was set up to investigate "particular events (which) have caused, or are capable of causing public concern" however most of the proceedings remain inaccessible.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"This is a hugely important public inquiry as it will help to determine the boundaries of what is deemed to be permissible action carried out by the secret state. The inquiry is focused on the actions and behaviour of state employees who are paid by the public. The public has the right to know what has been done in their name.

"The NUJ calls on the chair of the undercover inquiry, Sir John Mitting, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action to ensure this inquiry is not shielded from public view."

The NUJ is supporting the protest organised by core participants outside of the Amba Hotel, Marble Arch in London on Monday 26 April at 11am.

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