UCATT renews call for public enquiry into blacklisting after FOR request is refused


The Metropolitan Police has refused to answer whether or not spy cop Mark Jenner is still a serving officer.

Jenner, a member of the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad, assumed the name ‘Mark Cassidy’ and infiltrated UCATT, while posing as joiner.

Having had previous FOI requests rebuffed by the police, the union asked:

1. Is Mark Jenner who used the alias Mark Cassidy during the 1990s still a serving police officer?

2.  If Mark Jenner is still a serving police officer in which department is he employed?

The union says the answers are important because information on the files of blacklisted workers compiled by the Consulting Association can only have been supplied by the police or the security services.

After a ten-week delay the Metropolitan Police said that they will not “confirm or deny” whether the information is held. In a 48 page reply, they have given seven reasons why they have refused the request, citing national security, health & safety and personal data.

UCATT’s acting general secretary Brian Rye said: “The police’s continued refusal to answer questions about their role in the blacklisting of ordinary construction workers is reprehensible. Everyone who had their lives blighted by blacklisting deserves the complete truth. That will only be achieved through a full public inquiry into this disgusting practice.

“It is deeply cynical for the police to be using personal data as an excuse to withhold information, when they had no hesitation to distribute workers’ personal details to blacklisters and ruin their lives.”

Shortly prior to the election, the government announced that Lord Justice Pickford had been appointed to undertake a judge-led inquiry into undercover policing and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad. However it remains unclear whether the Pickford Inquiry will cover blacklisting and union infiltration.

The police’s involvement in blacklisting also goes further that the SDS and undercover policing as shortly prior to being closed down in a raid by the Information Commissioners Office the Consulting Association received a presentation from the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit in 2008.

Brian Rye said: “It is imperative that the Pickford Inquiry examines the police’s involvement in infiltrating unions and blacklisting workers but the scope of this inquiry will always be limited and this is why a full inquiry must be conducted.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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