Neville Lawrence has today issued the following statement re: the Undercover Policing Inquiry through his solicitors, Hodge Jones & Allen:
“I have grave concerns about how Chairman Mitting has been handling the anonymity applications by police officers, consistently granting them anonymity after hearing evidence behind closed doors and disclosing almost nothing to the lawyers representing the victims of police spying. Even senior officers who could give evidence about whether my family or I were spied upon have been granted anonymity, meaning they will give their evidence behind closed doors, shrouded in secrecy.
“This completely undermines my hopes for this Inquiry when it was set up after Mark Ellison QC made his findings. In 2014, the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, said only a public inquiry will be able to get through the full truth behind the matters of huge concern contained in Mr Ellison’s report. This is starting to look like anything but a public inquiry.
“If I do not have the cover names of people who were involved in undercover spying operations, I have no way of knowing for myself whether my family, my friends and I were victims and I will be unable to assist the Inquiry in getting to the truth. The Inquiry will be unable to consider anything except the views of the police whose actions they are investigating.
“I feel that Chairman Mitting is so far removed from the experiences of those who have been victims of undercover policing that he should recognise the need to sit with a panel of experts. His recent comments in court reveal that he just doesn’t get it, and in my view, there is a risk that this will lead to an unfairness to the victims. I call upon the Home Secretary to reconsider her decision not to require the Chair to sit with a panel, as has been requested time and time again by the lawyers for the victims of police spying, or to recuse himself.”
For further information, please contact:
Kerry Jack at Black Letter Communications on 020 3567 1208 or at
Notes for Editors
Hodge Jones and Allen
- Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its managing partner is Patrick Allen, recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by Solicitors Journal.
- For 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
- The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- In 2016, the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.