Category: Blacklisting

Undercover Policing Inquiry: Outrage at “Brick Wall of Silence”

Undercover Policing Inquiry: Outrage at “Brick Wall of Silence”


Outrage at wall of silence, watch video here



Last week, on the first day of the Undercover Policing Inquiry hearings, The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance demonstrated over the “brick wall of silence”.


The “public” Inquiry is hearing evidence behind closed doors, with no access to the public – thousands of whom will have been spied on by the members of a political secret police unit that infiltrated over 2,000 left wing organisations and campaigns (but only 3 far-right ones) between 1968 and 2010.Join the growing pressure for activists to see the files held on them, for undercover police’s cover names to be revealed, and for a complete list of groups spied on – and get daily reports on the proceedings at the


Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance’s website.

Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group gave evidence to the inquiry this morning. In a blistering performance he:


  1. accused SpyCop Mark Jenner of interfering with the internal democratic process of trade union UCATT accused SpyCop Carlo Neri of deliberately attempting to entrap union members by inciting them to commit arson called on the Inquiry to force the police to publish the names of Special Branch ‘key industry contacts’
  2. called on the Inquiry to force the police to publish names of any trade union officials who supplied information to the police
  3. slammed the Inquiry for lacking transparency and being unaccessible
  4. accused the police of protecting big business and capitalism, not democracy


Click here to read Dave’s full statement


Click here to read Union News report

Blacklist Support Group opening statement to public inquiry Tuesday 17th November

The Blacklist Support Group opening statement at the public inquiry to be delivered by Dave Smith has been rescheduled to take place at 10am Tuesday 17th November.  Smith’s original statement was postponed due to a legal challenge to the content of his speech and the inquiry chair has now made a  ruling on what is permitted to be said in the rescheduled opening statement.

The BSG opening statement will be live streamed and can be viewed via this link:

Spycops public inquiry finally starts

After a five and a half year delay, the public inquiry into the abuses carried out by the UK’s undercover political police has finally started. 
The Blacklist Support Group plus the three unions in the inquiry; UNITE, FBU and NUM will be making their opening statements on Friday 6th November. Watch all the union strand opening statements via this link:
10:00 AM
James Scobie QC (Core Participants represented by Paul Heron)
12:15 PM
Ruth Brander (Non-Police, Non-State Core Participant Group)
2:00 PM
Lord Hendy QC (Fire Brigades Union and Unite [Category E Core Participants])
3:45 PM
Gareth Pierce (National Union of Mineworkers [Category E Core Participant])
4:15 PM
Dave Smith (Blacklist Support Group [Category E Core Participant])
Some of the press coverage so far:

Undercover Police Public Inquiry starts Monday 2nd November

After a five and a half year delay, the public inquiry into the systematic human rights abuse carried out by undercover political police finally starts on Monday 2nd November. The union strard of the public inquiry consists of the Blacklist Support Group, eight individual blacklisted workers, UNITE, Fire Brigades Union and National Union of Mineworkers, who have all been granted core participant status – as the state has already admitted spying on us. After nearly a decade of campaigning, we will finally hear evidence from the undercover police and their senior managers who spied on unions, MPs, anti-racist campaigners, the families of murder victims, environmental and political activists.


The inquiry starts with Opening Statements from the police & those targeted by the UK’s political policing units. Dave Smith speaking on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group, John Hendy representing UNITE & FBU and Gareth Pierce representing NUM speak on Fri 6th Nov. There is still a legal argument taking place over whether the public will be allowed to see the evidence live streamed or only view transcripts afterwards.


We do not expect the state investigating itself to provide ‘justice’. Our participation is based on exposing at least some evidence of the institutional racism, institutional sexism and anti-union bias of the police & security services to public scrutiny. To follow the public inquiry via social media search for the hashtags: #SpyCops #SpyCopsInquiry


Blacklist Support Group thanks everyone who has helped us get to this stage and sends solidarity to all non-state core participants

Shut the Sites

Shut The Sites blockade the London headquarters of construction giant MACE, whose CEO – Mark Reynolds – is a spokesperson for the Construction Leadership Council.

Video of the action here

The CLC have just shockingly announced that construction needs to stay open and social distancing for coronavirus can be ignored for up to 15 minutes at a time, if a job cannot be carried out by one person alone. This watering down of official guidelines for building sites will pass on infection to their family members and send hundreds to their deaths.

No construction worker wants to put their family at risk, but they also need to pay their rent, which is why the electrician, bricklayer, carpenter, engineer and union safety rep who participated in the direct action also called on the government to pay every worker, irrespective of whether they are a direct employee, self-employed or an agency worker.

Shut The Sites activist went on to blockade a nearby Laing O’Rourke’s building site, sending a clear message to the CLC, major contractors and the government – if you don’t shut down construction and keep people safe, then workers are going to do it themselves.

The protest took place of 28th April – International Workers Memorial Day The global Day of Action by unions over deaths in the workplace. The slogan for #IWMD20 is “Mourn the Dead – Fight for the Living”. So after the protest, the construction workers paid their respects to their fellow workers who had died at the bronze ‘Building Worker’ statue at Tower Hill in London. Shut The Sites spokesperson, Dan Dobson said “#ShutTheSites is taking off as a grassroots movement on construction sites across the UK, made up of workers who disagree with the Government policy of keeping sites open. At least 100 NHS/Care workers now died from Covid-19, the Government have shown that it cannot protect or provide PPE for the genuine front line key workers, so how are non essential construction workers meant to fare? All non-critical sites need to be stopped and all workers need to be paid, regardless of their employment status.”

Note: A full risk assessment was carried out prior to the action, full PPE was provided and control measures were put in place to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Link to Shut The Sites Press Release – 28/04/2020 – Shut The Sites IWMD Body Bag Protest

Kind regards, 
Shut The Sites
#ShutTheSites #PAYEveryWorker

Blacklist Support Group coronavirus statement

Blacklist Support Group supports 2 linked demands for the construction sector:
  • #ShutTheSites – Close all non-essential building sites to keep workers and their families safe
  • #PAYEveryworker – Ensure every worker gets paid to ensure their families are not put into destitution
Blame greedy bosses, clients and the government NOT the workers
The vast majority of construction workers are decent hardworking people. None of them want to put their own or their family members’ lives at risk by working in a situation where coronavirus infection is likely. Yet despite the apparent lockdown, photographs of packed building sites have been all over the media for days. When construction workers go to work, they share minibuses, travel on packed tubes, eat in crowded canteens, go up in full hoists, use palm print entry systems and live in barrack style accommodation on site. Construction is a dirty dangerous place at the best of times with notoriously poor welfare facilities, where the very process requires people to work in close proximity. Coronavirus will spread like wildfire in these circumstances.
Blame for this giant threat to public health lies with the greedy major contractors and clients continuing to enforce penalty clauses for delays; forcing building workers to come into work. Blame also lies with the government for not ordering all non-essential construction work to close. Ministers make speeches from lecterns emblazoned with the slogan ‘Stay Home Save Lives’ but building workers are still expected to go to work. There appears to have been orchestrated lobbying by the large contractors who are also major financial donors to the Tory Party. Its all about the money.

culture of fear
There are also widespread reports of construction workers being sacked or told not to return to site if they complain or take the decision to leave unsafe sites. Construction News even reported workers being worried about blacklisting and being told to “F*ck Off, if you don’t like it”. One electrician in central London was sacked for gross-misconduct for posting a tweet about lack of social distancing. 
As blacklisted building workers, we know from personal experience that the spectre of blacklisting is still very real in the construction industry. Big firms claim it’s a thing of the past but everyone knows it’s still going on. If safety reps get sacked, it’s no surprise that other workers keep their heads down. It’s a climate of fear that’s putting public health at risk.
Coronavirus Risk Assessment for the construction industry would highlight:
  • Repeated prosecutions for breaches of H&S laws
  • Blacklisting of safety reps by major contractors
  • Workers being sacked where they complain abut safety
  • Highest workplace fatality rates of any sector
  • Intrinsically dirty work involving heavy lifting, often as a team
  • Working in close proximity in confined spaces, hoists, scaffolds and trenches
  • Often non-existent welfare facilities
  • Almost universal bogus ‘self-employment’ where workers won’t be paid if they don’t come in
Using the Law
Every worker should stay safe and put their own and family member’s safety above the profits of their employer. Blacklist Support Group urge all concerned workers in non-essential workplaces to talk to your fellow workers and collectively approach the boss to keep staff safe. If management refuse to positively respond to reasonable requests, then legislation provides protection to employees who move themselves from an unsafe workplace. 
Section 44 (1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, specifically states:
An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that:
in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or
in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.
Using this health and safety law, coronavirus walkouts have already been organised in construction, factories, distribution depots, Royal Mail. In the US walkouts by autoworkers have closed car plants and in Italy and Switzerland the unions led strikes to close down non-essential workplaces. Construction workers do not want to be working, with the potential of brining the virus back home to their loved ones. The mood of the industry and the whole nation is to shut non-essential building sites.
Any union officials or safety reps who are negotiating with managers about how to keep non-essential workplaces open should first and foremost talk to their members about what they actually want to happen. Then reconsider whether continuing production is likely to ensure the safety of workers and their families, or primarily benefit the company financially. Any union perceived by the workers as siding with management to keep non-essential businesses open, may suffer a backlash if the overwhelming mood of the workforce is to stay safe at home. 
‘Self-Employed’ Workers
However agency workers and anyone classified as self-employed are not covered by this legal protection. Employment law is stacked in favor of the employers. So rather than merely quoting the law, groups of workers should join a union and approach their boss collectively. This will increase the likelihood of success and decrease the chance of any victimization. 
The majority of construction workers are also classified as self-employed, which means that if they decide to self-isolate they will not be paid by the firm they’re actually working for. If they go off sick, they won’t get sick pay. This allows the big firms to extert pressure on building workers who need money to put food on the table. 
The government scheme for self-employed workers is a joke. No one gets a penny until June. How are people supposed to pay their bills? People have every right to keep a roof over their heads.The government position is changing by the day and concerted pressure can bring about further changes. Rather than the hopeless self-employed scheme or Universal Credit of £95 a week, it would be more useful if the government made universal income payments of around £1000 to everyone in the country (as has happened in Hong Kong).  No landlord or bank has a God given right to make a profit: the law of the land grants them that right, and the government can suspend that right. If the government suspended all rent, mortgage and interest payments for the next 3 months no one would be in fear of losing their home (as has happened in Italy).
Below is a short selection of the media coverage relating to the construction industry: 
Dan Dobson on Radio 5 Live: (starts at 21:29hrs)
Dan Dobson - Tribune article:

Dave Smith: Morning Star article:
Dave Smith at Coronavirus Support Group for Workers virtual meeting:

Construction News:

Union News:


Le Monde on Hinckley Point

Punk Poet Steve White has even given the hashtag #ShutTheSites its own theme tune:
Stay Safe & Keep the Faith
Blacklist Support Group

Blacklisting public inquiry in the Labour Manifesto

Page 48 of the Labour Manifesto:


“We will establish public inquiries into historical injustices including blacklisting and Orgreave, and ensure the second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry has the confidence of all those affected, especially the bereaved families and survivors. We will also consider a public inquiry in the case of Zane Gbangbola.


We will require judicial warrants for undercover operations and retain the Mitting Inquiry into undercover policing.


We will release all papers on the Shrewsbury 24 trials and 37 Cammell Laird shipyard workers and introduce a Public Accountability Bill”.


Blacklist Support Group are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder on shared platforms for more than 10 years with campaigners fighting for justice for Orgreave, Grenfell, Zane Gbangbola, victims of undercover political policing, the Shrewsbury Pickets and Cammell Laird ship workers. We have demanded and fought for a public inquiry for over a decade – it is our campaigning that has led to this manifesto commitment. We therefore whole heartedly support this pledge towards getting the truth we, and other working class miscarriages of justice, deserve. But working people should never place dewy eyed trust in politicians, lawyers or union leaders to solve our problems for us; continuing to build a movement remains essential.





Lucy Parker’s film is now complete! Premiere at Sheffield Docs Fest in June

Dear All,

City Projects has been working with Lucy Parker for over 4 years and we are very excited to announce that her film Solidarity is complete!

Lucy Parker’s debut feature-length film will have its World Premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

The Premiere is on Saturday 8th June at 11.15am, and there is an additional screening on Sunday 9th June at 11.30am, both at the Light Cinema, Sheffield. There will be a Q&A at both screenings.

Tickets and info here

BFI’s Georgia Korossi has chosen Solidarity as one of 10 films to look out for at the festival (read the review here)

Thanks to all of you who have taken part, donated or helped out in any way with the film. We are really looking forward to sharing it with you.

We hope some of you will be able to make it, and if not we’ll keep you up to date with further screenings around the UK.

Blacklist Support Group

TUC Congress 


Last week, John McDonnell announced that a public inquiry into blacklisting would form part of the first Queen’s Speech for an incoming Labour Government.

More from the TUC Congress

Righting working class miscarriages of Justice:

Working class miscarriages of justice: Ensuring they never happen again chaired by Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett. Speakers include: Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Chris Peace from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Campaign, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Terry Renshaw from Shrewsbury Picket.


Major Morning Star Article at TUC congress on the need for a radical manifesto for employment rights – including a public inquiry into blacklisting. Lee Fowler representing.




Great article in the Daily Mirror on the Spycops inquiry

Good luck to Kate Wilson in court on 3rd October exposing the human rights abuses of the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy


Major report published by Big Brother watch UK with article on blacklisting by Phil Chamberlain. John Bryan representing at the launch party.


Labour Party Conference


Kier are to build the new Durham County Council HQ. The 2 contractors bidding for Manchester City Council’s historic Town Hall renovation are Laing O’Rourke & Lendlease. Why can’t some Labour councillors understand the policy: No Public Contracts for Blacklist firms?

Roy Bentham will represent the Blacklist Support Group at this session at the parallel The World Transformed conference to the Labour Party’s.


Haldane Fringe meeting 6pm, Monday 24th Sept – The miners strike and undercover policing (flyer attached)

Tackling the Housing Crisis meeting – Unite the Union Holborn – 6pm Thursday 27th September.  Speakers include: John McDonnell MP and blacklisted safety campaigner Tony O’Brien, whose book, ‘Tackling the Housing Crisis’, was published in July



BSG demonstrated at Royal Liverpool Hospital project when exposing Carillion back in 2015. There’s a public meeting over the embarrassing predicament the long from complete Hospital now finds itself. Roy Bentham will speak on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group.


An independent review is being carried out into the impact of policing on affected communities in Scotland during the 1984 to 1985 miners’ strike.


Launch of a major new oral history archive from post war construction workers covering building the new towns, the Southbank and the Barbican. Many blacklisted workers took part in the project. Prof. Linda Clarke (long time friend of the BSG) is the curator and project leader.

10th October @ Bishopsgate Centre


BBC story – Suicide risk for construction workers is 3 times the male average. One of the main reasons is precarious work. Top work Simon Pantry for representing.


No toilets? Seriously? Crossrail is a multi-billion pound publicly funded project. But watch out if you complain about it – Skanska & Costain have form on blacklisting workers who speak up about their safety concerns.


Gary Doolan R.I.P.

Blacklist Support Group send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gary Doolan, National Political Officer for GMB who has passed away. Gary always fought our corner; standing with us on pickets, protests and at the High Court. Gary also got us private meetings in parliament which led to the Labour manifesto pledging a public inquiry into blacklisting (under Ed Milliband). In his role as Labour Councillor in Islington, he took the £16m a year housing maintenance contract away from Kier because of their role in the blacklisting scandal. All the workers were taken back in-house. Islington were the first local authority in the country to publicly take that step. This is what solidarity looks like and what our movement should aspire to.

“There are times when doing the right thing is easy. There was no other way to deal with this, but to send a message loud and very clear to any contractor wishing to bid for work in our borough, in that those contractors who are guilty of blacklisting will be excluded from any tendering for work. Islington is the first local council that’s made this statement. If it’s right for one council to stand up for workers, it’s good enough for all the others to take the same stance. Perhaps that way blacklisting will finally be eradicated”. Gary Doolan R.I.P.


Public inquiry finally confirm Mark Cassidy as an undercover police officer that infiltrated construction union UCATT

Undercover police officer HN15 = Mark Cassidy = Mark Jenner

The undercover policing public inquiry has finally confirmed that the joiner many of us knew as Mark Cassidy was in truth an undercover police officer. His real name is Mark Jenner and b

etween 1995-2000, he infiltrated the construction UCATT (his subs were paid from a bank account set up by Special Branch)


He also infiltrated rank and file groups including the Building Worker Safety Campaign, the meetings of which he chaired at the Colin Roach Centre in Hackney. Jenner / Cassidy also targeted RMT, Unison, CPSA, TGWU and was on numerous picketlines including Dahl Jenson at Waterloo, JJ Fastfoods at Tottenham Hale and L.B. Southwark DLO.


Mark Cassidy / Jenner was first publicly named in by an article by journalist & union activist Mark Metcalf and in Blacklisted book by Phil Chamberlain & Dave Smith. The Met Police issued a public apology to ‘Alison’, the activist he lived with during the five years of his deployment. It is shameful that the Met and the public inquiry have taken so long to admit that Mark Cassidy was an undercover police officer from the Special Demonstration Squad, something that everyone has known for years.


‘Alison’, Mark Metcalf, UCATT (now part of UNITE) and blacklisted workers Brian Higgins, John Jones, Steve Hedley, Frank Smith, Dan Gilman & Dave Smith (who attended meetings, protests and pickets with Mark Cassidy / Jenner) have all been granted core participant status in the undercover police public inquiry.


This public confirmation about Mark Cassidy comes just a week after the Met confirmed that police provided information to the building industry blacklist.


Blacklist Support Group send a huge hug to ‘Alison’ and all the women activist at Police Spies Out of Lives for their inspirational battle to force the authorities to tell the truth about the undercover police officers that abused them.

Full story on Mark Jenner:





Alison’s Statement in full:

“I welcome the Inquiry finally confirming that my former partner Mark Cassidy was an undercover police officer and that his name now appears on the UCPI website’s list of cover names. It is deeply disappointing, however, that it has taken the Inquiry so long to confirm a fact that we exposed over five years ago.

There is no restriction order on his real name: Mark Jenner. Yet his real name – and the real names of other confirmed officers -are not listed on this table, making it hard for the public to keep track of who’s who. It feels as if they’re always trying to keep as much hidden as possible.

His employer, the Metropolitan Police, has still not confirmed his identity or given me any information as to why I was spied on. Despite appealing my Data Protection Act request, I’ve been told repeatedly that the (then) Commissioner had nothing he was obliged to share with me. I cited Jenner in the case we brought against the Metropolitan Police in 2011. In 2013, his photograph, cover and real names were in the press, and I gave testimony to the Home Affairs Select Committee about my five year relationship with him. The Inquiry began in 2015 and I have been given no explanation as to why it has taken three years since then to confirm the truth.

I and other women similarly deceived have received no disclosure about how these abusive relationships were allowed to happen. None of those responsible has been held to account, and the direction the Inquiry has taken towards greater secrecy since the appointment of Sir John Mitting does not bode well for this being remedied.

With other women who have had relationships with undercover officers, I have written this week to the Home Secretary calling for an urgent meeting to discuss our concerns. Our experience is the result of institutional sexism within the police and recent comments by the presiding judge appear to lack any understanding as to what this means.

The Inquiry needs a panel of advisers who have sufficient expertise and diversity to be able to recognise and challenge sexism, racism and police malpractice. As a priority, it should release the cover names of all officers and the files they compiled on activists and campaigners. It should release the names of all groups about whom information was gathered.

If those who have abused their power are to be held to account and the scale of political spying in this country is to be exposed, the Home Secretary needs to act. It is in the public interest for this Inquiry to have the confidence of its core participants. Without transparency, how can the extent of the wrong-doing be understood? How can lessons be learned? And most importantly, how can human rights abuses perpetrated by covert police units be prevented in the future?’


Blacklist Support Group







Spycops victims stage mass walk out at public inquiry

Victims of undercover police units and their lawyers staged a mass walk out during today’s hearing of the undercover policing public inquiry calling for the removal of Sir John Mitting as the new judge in charge of the inquiry. Sir John Mitting has told the inquiry, that victims will be be met with a ‘wall of silence’ in key parts of the inquiry and is granting anonymity to almost every police officer – so the public inquiry will be held mainly in secret. This will not be justice. We are not prepared to participate in a process in which the victims are merely window dressing.


Below and attached is the full transcript of the submission made by Phillipa Kaufman QC, representing over 200 of the ‘non-state, non police core participants’ in the inquiry including Doreen and Neville Lawrence, women activist who were decided into relationships with undercover officers, anti-racist campaigners and trade unions.


Blacklisted workers and the Blacklist support Group have been granted ‘core participant status’ in the inquiry because of undercover police infiltration of trade unions and were part of the walk out.


Blacklist Support Group Statement for Undercover Policing Public Inquiry hearing Wed 21st March 2018
“Blacklisted workers who have been kept under surveillance by political policing units were always skeptical about whether the British state investigating itself would truly provide justice. But under John Mitting, the public inquiry has descended into a good old fashioned establishment cover-up.

Mitting was put in charge to carry out a job of work on us – and he’s doing it. Time and again he gives the police the benefit of the doubt, to the detriment of those whose lives have been torn apart by this human rights scandal.

Tinkering around the edges isn’t going to change things. We have no confidence in Mitting. He must go and needs to be replaced with a panel of experts who have have at least some degree of empathy with the victims and are prepared to question the accounts of undercover police officers who have been trained to lie”.

Dave Smith – core participant in ‘union strand’ of public inquiry.



  1. Sir, before you start today’s hearing I would like to make submissions on behalf of the NPSCPs.
  2. As you know we represent about 200 individuals – we cannot be precise because some of the CPs are groups and it is anyone’s guess how many individuals are represented as individuals relating to that group.
  3. Over the last few months we have expressed to you increasing concerns about the manner in which the anonymity application process has been conducted.   We have reached a point where our concerns can no longer be ignored and have reached a head.
  4. The focus of the NPSCPs now very grave concerns are disclosure and well, to be frank, you.
  5. Disclosure –
  6. From the first moment that we were invited to participate in the individual anonymity application process we have taken strenuous steps to ensure that disclosure is made which is sufficient to ensure both that the need for openness to be maximised is ensured and second, relatedly, that disclosure is made that will enable decisions to be taken on a properly informed basis. By that I mean that decisions are taken which, to the extent possible, test the police’ contentions as to why anonymity orders are required.
  7. Your response has consistently been that our argument is circular and that you cannot provide more information.

iii.     As with disclosure so too with your reasons.  These are scant and largely uninformative.  You have never indicated that you take account of the compelling public interest factors favouring disclosure let alone explain why they have been discounted.

  1. We agree entirely with the observations in the submissions on behalf of Mr Francis at paras 4-6.  I will read these in full because they echo so precisely the feelings of my clients.


  1. The opaque nature of the Chairman’s reasoning has attained a new height in his ‘minded to’ note no. 3: in it he has dispensed with open reasons altogether in relation to his indications re HN109. This is so despite the fact that the Chairman is aware of the extreme frustration that his general approach to the restriction order process has caused thus far.
  2. A considered decision not to publish any open reasons at all, in the context of an officer in relation to whom the current risk of physical harm is assessed as “low” with any increase by revelation of real or cover name assessed as “very low”, signals a disregard for those, like PF, who have shown a real respect for the Inquiry’s processes by not revealing information that they hold and in relation to which the Chairman has no power to restrict.
  3. PF has been prepared to engage with this judicial process (which he was instrumental in bringing about) in the belief that this process would fairly balance the public interest in openness with other factors at play. Failing to give any reasons for restricting both a real and cover name of a former UCO, who was a manager at a crucial period of time in SDS history, and where there is no disclosed risk, significantly undermines the trust and belief in the Inquiry process that PF has shown to date, compounding his perception that there is a lack of mutual respect.
  4. Our argument has consistently been that the anonymity applications form an absolutely critical part of the process. If you don’t get this right now then so much of what has gone wrong in the undercover policing operations of the SDS and NPOIU will forever remain secret.  That is precisely the problem that Ellison ran into, namely that he could not test the police accounts against those of the people the officers had spied on. My clients greatly fear you are walking into the same dead end.
  5. In short we have got precisely nowhere in relation to our attempts to ensure that we can meaningfully participate.

vii.     It is now abundantly clear, particularly in light of the latest disclosure and minded to indications which form the basis of this hearing that we simply cannot participate in this hearing in any meaningful way – you of course have our written subs.  Your minded two indications again close off all avenues for getting to the truth in relation to two critical officers, two managers.  This in circumstances where we have just learnt from the Met in relation to one of the women with whom Mark Kennedy had a relationship when working with the NPOIU, that his managers and supervisers acquiesced in his sexual relationship.

viii.     Our clients are not prepared actively to participate in a process where their presence is mere window dressing lacking all substance and meaning which would achieve nothing other than to lend the process a legitimacy it does not have.

  1. The second major area of concern is with the Inquiry Panel.  This concern falls into two parts:-
  2. The first concerns the failure to ensure that the inquiry is heard by exactly that “a Panel”, representing a proper cross section of our society and in particular including individuals who have a proper understanding of discrimination both on grounds of race and sex.
  3. Instead we have the usual white, upper middle class, elderly gentleman, whose life experiences are a million miles away from those who were spied upon.
  4. And, the very narrow ambit of your experience has been made apparent in relation to your understanding of issues relating to women, in your minded to note, what you said at the hearing and maintained in your decision in relation to HN58.   I will remind you of your observation in the minded to note that HN58 is, in your view, very unlikely to have had any intimate relations with those he spied upon because he had been married for many years.
  5. You will recall the reaction of those present in court when you said this. You will recall acknowledging in response to that reaction that maybe you are somewhat naiive and a little old fashioned.  Yet, what is even more alarming perhaps than your original observation is the fact that you maintained that naiive and old fashioned approach in your final decision and in other minded to notes.
  6. The core participants do not want this important inquiry to be presided over by someone who is both naiive and old fashioned and does not understand the world that they or the police inhabit.    They have no confidence in the prospect of the inquiry properly probing or understanding the evidence.
  7. Those CPs who have expressed a view therefore ask you to recuse yourself from his inquiry or that you ensure that you sit as a true Panel bringing on board, others who well understand the critical issues that shape and frame this inquiry.

Not permanent walk out 

  1. As matters standthose clients who have given instructions (as you know many do not actively participate) are not prepared to continue their participation in today’s hearing.  I am instructed therefore to withdraw from this hearing while these issues are considered by you.


Blacklist Support Group






Blacklist Support Group

Unite the Union has today launched a new blacklisting claim at the High Court. This time around they have named key individuals at the centre of The Consulting Association scandal as defendants including; Cullum McAlpine, David Cochrane (from Sir Robert McAlpine), Danny O’Sullivan (Kier) and Stephen Quant (Skanska), with the intention that these senior executives who orchestrated the conspiracy will be forced to account for their actions.


Following the settlement of the original High Court litigation in 2016, blacklisted workers have repeatedly stated that ‘compensation is not the same as justice’ and called for the union to use every means possible to ensure that directors of multi-national construction companies behind blacklisting were brought before a court. Blacklist Support Group fully endorses the new litigation and hopes that given that the costs risks have now been substantially reduced, this time around the guilty parties will be forced into a full trial. The sooner the better.


Roy Bentham, secretary Blacklist Support Group commented:  “Blacklisting of union members and those prepared to stand up for basic legal entitlements is not just a breach of the law it is a violation of human rights. It is not just in the construction industry: blacklisting takes place in the NHS, in the North Sea and increasingly in the so-called gig economy where the lack of employment rights means the bosses continue to get away with it. This epidemic of victimization needs to be sorted out once and for all”.


The announcement comes in the same week as the Day of Action on Blacklisting that will see protests and lobbies of parliament across the UK.


Day of Action – Wed 6th December – please show solidarity at whichever protest you can get along to:



09:00 – Skanska office, Goswell Road, Barbican, London

12:00 – Westminster lobby of parliament and rally



9:30 – Meet at Unite Edinburgh Office
10:00 – Protest at St James Centre
12:00 – Lobby the Scottish Parliament



08:00 – 10:00 City Square, Leeds, LS1 2, United Kingdom



10am – Balfour Beatty, Sussex University, Brighton, BN1 9RH



12.00 – McAlpine site Exchange Square, Urban Village Site, Gate 4, Dale End, B4 7LN



17:00 – McAlpine site, Durham city centre (Milburngate shopping centre).


Video of the previous Day of Action on Blacklisting in 2013:


Press coverage of the new High Court claim:



And finally, BSG would like to send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Tommy Finn R.I.P.

Former chair of the Construction Safety Campaign, convenor of Hackney DLO in the 1990s, blacklisted and spied on by undercover police for standing up for the rights of his fellow workers.



Blacklist Support Group