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Undercover Policing Inquiry – Peter Hain statement on “South African Terrorist” description

Lord Peter Hain reveals undercover policing records from 2003 described him as a ‘South African terrorist’ at the time he was Secretary of State for Wales and Leader of the House of Commons

Lord Peter Hain has been giving evidence to the Undercover Policing Inquiry today. In addition to his written statement, which can be read in full here, Lord Hain made an additional statement about a document he was only recently made aware of, in which he is described as a “South African terrorist”.

For a full transcript of the statement, see below:

“In addition to my written statement I’ve only recently been made aware of an important, hitherto undisclosed police record that describes me as a “South African terrorist” a description given by undercover officer Mark Kennedy, who formed a close relationship with environment activist Kate Wilson – who by the way went to school with my children in Putney.

It was documented, this statement that he made, at the National Police Order Intelligence Unit and the records date from November 2003, where he’s calling me a South African terrorist, at a time when I was a member of the British Cabinet, Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal, and a member of her Majesty’s Privy Council. What is it in the DNA of undercover policing that allows its officers to get such a biased and reactionary view of the world. that they can make these kind of biased and completely unrepresentative and libellous and defamatory statements about me in this instance and no doubt about others ?”

Peter Hain has been provided with 70 documents, mainly ‘intelligence reports’ of Special Branch (‘SB’) and its undercover police unit, the Special Demonstration Squad (‘SDS’).

They relate to ‘intelligence’ gathered on him by six undercover police officers including during his campaigning with the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), Stop the Seventy Tour (STST), the Anti-Nazi League (ANL), Young Liberals (YL). They span many years, principally the 70s.

They do not include important and hitherto secret intelligence gathered on him by a seventh undercover police officer, in the 2000s, while he was an MP, in the Cabinet and a Privy Councillor.

About Right Honourable Lord Peter Hain, 71 

From anti-apartheid protester to Right Honourable Lord, from Pretoria childhood to senior Cabinet Minister and over thirty years in Britain’s Parliament, Peter Hain has led a colourful life: 

  • Brought up in South Africa where his anti-apartheid parents were jailed, banned and forced into exile when he was aged 16
  • From 1969-70, led British anti-apartheid campaigns to stop all-white South African sports tours
  • Went on to become MP for Neath, 1991-2015, and served in the UK Government for 12 years
  • UK Cabinet positions:  Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Work and Pensions; and for Wales; Leader of the House of Commons; Energy Minister; Foreign Minister with successive responsibilities for Africa, the Middle East and Europe
  • Negotiated the 2007 settlement to end the conflict in Northern Ireland
  • Chaired the United Nations Security Council and negotiated international treaties


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  • Ernest Rodker’s statement to the Inquiry was read out by his son, Oli Rodker, on Wednesday 28 April at 2pm-5pm.
  • Professor Jonathan Rosenhead gave evidence to the Inquiry on Thursday 29 April at 10.30am-1pm.
  • Christabel Gurney OBE gave evidence to the Inquiry on Thursday 29 April at 2pm-5pm.
  • Lord Peter Hain will gave evidence to the Inquiry on Friday 30 April from 10am-5pm.

More information on the AAM memo to the government in 1982 can be found here:

Notes for Editors

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