Labour demands release of full findings of Patel bullying inquiry

Labour is demanding the publication of the full inquiry findings into allegations of bullying by Priti Patel amid reports she was found to have broken the rules for ministers. Reassured Boris Johnson has rejected calls to sack the home secretary after delivering his long-awaited verdict on her conduct on Friday, even though she breached the ministerial code. According to reports, she was found to have failed to meet the requirement to treat civil servants with respect and consideration. Normally ministers are expected to resign if they breach the code, but a government statement said the PM is: reassured that the home secretary is sorry for inadvertently upsetting those with…

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Inquiry launched into Windrush compensations after claims of ‘serious delays’

MPs have launched a new inquiry into the Windrush Compensation Scheme amid concerns that the scandal’s victims have experienced “serious delays” and problems with claims.ConcernYvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Committee, said MPs were “deeply concerned” by the issues reported since the scheme was established more than a year ago. As well as facing long delays in receiving payouts, applicants have also complained of having to struggle with complex forms. Cooper said:We have already heard from many people who have experienced serious delays or have had very difficult experiences in applying for compensation. It is immensely important that the huge injustices experienced by the Windrush generation at…

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Trade unions tell ‘spycops’ inquiry they were spied on by police over decades. Confidential files reveal more.

Trade unions told the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) that they were spied upon by police over four decades. Leaked and confidential documents back that claim and reveal far more.InfiltrationIn a submission to the UCPI on behalf of several trade unions, lord Hendy QC provided examples of unions spied on:Peter Francis, an undercover police officer who served in the SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] from 1993-1997, has said that he carried out covert surveillance of members of the National Union of Teachers (now the NEU), the CWU, the FBU and UNISON. Another undercover officer, Mark Jenner (‘Cassidy’) posed as a joiner to become a member of UCATT in 1996-1998. Senior…

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Stephen Lawrence’s family highlights institutional racism in the British police during Undercover Policing Inquiry

The Undercover Policing Inquiry has continued into its seventh day, with barristers giving statements on behalf of Stephen Lawrence’s family. The family was targeted by police spies. In April 1993, 18-year-old Lawrence was stabbed to death while waiting for a bus with his friend in Eltham, London. The two were attacked by a gang of white youths. It took almost twenty years for two of Lawrence’s killers to finally be convicted of his murder. An inquiry into his death found that the police investigation was institutionally racist and flawed. It traumatised the grieving family even more, and it allowed Lawrence’s killers to largely escape the justice they deserved.…

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Catholic leader refuses to resign despite damning findings from child sex abuse inquiry

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales said he won’t resign over a damning report into child sex abuse allegations. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster Diocese, said he recently offered his resignation to the Pope. He claimed this was on account of his age and nothing else. But the Pope instructed him to stay in post.The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report into the Catholic Church was published on 10 November. The report found Nichols  “seemingly put the reputation of the church” above his duty to sex assault victims. It added that he had demonstrated “no acknowledgement of any personal responsibility…

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Britain’s class war exposed in a powerful statement to the ‘spycops’ inquiry

On 6 November 2020, solicitor Gareth Peirce issued a statement on behalf of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to the Under Cover Policing Inquiry (UCPI), regarding policing of the 1984-5 strike. The statement made it clear that MI5 played a key role in helping to defeat the strike. Evidence elsewhere backs that up. The “enemy within” The statement explains how in 1979: a newly elected government under Margaret Thatcher set in train a plan to make the Union and its members the focus of exceptional and largely secret initiatives and operations involving the Security Services, the police, and relationships cultivated by all three with selected media. Some…

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Victims of police spying have ‘no hope of getting to the truth’ as public inquiry finally starts

Monday 2 November finally saw the Undercover Policing Inquiry begin, after five years of delays. The inquiry will examine the disgusting actions of police units that employed over 140 police officers to spy on activists and campaign groups for years. According to Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), since 1968: over 1,000 groups campaigning in the UK for a better society and better world have been systematically spied upon, infiltrated, or otherwise targeted by secret and unaccountable political police units. Theresa May announced the inquiry in 2015 after the Ellison report, published in 2014, revealed that Stephen Lawerence’s family were spied on. The revelations caused public outrage. And it…

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Delay into Home Secretary bullying inquiry is ‘intolerable’, Government told

Delays surrounding an investigation into claims Home Secretary Priti Patel bullied staff are “intolerable” and fair to neither side, the Government has been told.Peers have raised concerns at Westminster over the hold-up to the inquiry, which was set up eight months ago.A Cabinet Office investigation was launched in March over allegations that Ms Patel belittled colleagues and clashed with senior officials in three different departments. Sir Philip Rutnam who quit earlier this year and accused Priti Patel of bullying (Helen William/PA)Sir Philip Rutnam, who was the Home Office’s permanent secretary, quit earlier this year, accusing the Cabinet minister of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him and…

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Campaigners question if mammoth undercover policing inquiry can get to the truth

Campaigners who were targeted by undercover police officers have raised doubts that a £30 million public inquiry will get to the truth about tactics used by controversial secret units.Hearings in the Undercover Policing Inquiry are due to begin tomorrow, with opening statements for seven days and then the first live witnesses.The mammoth investigation, looking at undercover policing since 1968, has been split into tranches by date – with the first block of hearings in November due to cover the activities of the Metropolitan Police Special Demonstration Squad between 1968 and 1972.In January, it will begin looking at SDS deployments from 1973 to 1982, and undercover policing in later…

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The government is ‘putting lives at risk’ delaying Grenfell inquiry recommendations

The government is “putting lives at risk” by not implementing changes recommended by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry fast enough, London’s mayor has said. Sadiq Khan accused building owners and the government of “failing” the Grenfell community over the lack of progress, adding he shared concerns that a similar tragedy could happen again.His comments come almost a year after inquiry chairman Martin Moore-Bick identified 46 changes that should be made to ensure the safety of residents in high-rise buildings.Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Victoria Jones/PA) FailingsKhan said the government had not provided a timed delivery plan for the changes it was responsible for implementing. He added:I am concerned that…

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