Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Political Police Infiltration: From Women Activists, Blacklisting to Bob Lambert.

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Police Spy Lambert in Happier Days.

More fall-out from the Lawrence Cases.

Scotland Yard in new undercover police row.

Observer today.

Force accused over attempts to block claims by women allegedly deceived into sexual relationships.

Scotland Yard stands accused of covering up “institutionalised sexism” within the police in trying to block civil claims launched by women allegedly deceived into sexual relationships with undercover officers.

Police lawyers are applying to strike out, on secrecy grounds, the claims of five women who say they were duped into intimate long-term relationships with four undercover police officers working within the special demonstration squad (SDS), a Metropolitan police unit set up to infiltrate protest groups.

The legal bid, funded by the taxpayer, is being fought despite widespread outrage and promises of future transparency by Scotland Yard, following official confirmation last week that an undercover officer was deployed 21 years ago to spy on the grieving family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The Observer understands that police lawyers are asking the high court to reject claims against the Metropolitan police on the grounds that the force cannot deviate from its policy of neither confirming nor denying issues regarding undercover policing.

It is understood that Scotland Yard will say in a hearing, scheduled to be held on 18 March, that it is not in a position to respond to claims and therefore cannot defend it.

Last week an independent inquiry revealed that an officer identified only as N81 was deployed in a group “positioned close to the Lawrence family campaign”. The spy gathered “some personal details relating to” the murdered teenager’s parents. It was also disclosed that undercover officers had given false evidence in the courts and acted as if they were exempt from the normal rules of evidence disclosure.

Blacklist campaigners have called for the Public Inquiry into undercover police spying on the the Lawrence family to be given a wide enough remit to investigate police collusion with blacklisting. Despite documentary evidence proving beyond doubt that undercover police officers were linked to blacklisting there was no mention of this in the statement made by Theresa May to MPs.

On the very same day that the Home Secretary announced a public inquiry into the activity of Special Demonstration Squad officers spying on the Lawrence family, Operation Herne has published its 2nd report into the actions of undercover police officers.  Blacklist victims condemned as a whitewash the non-findings of the police report into police collusion in the blacklist conspiracy, which describes police discussions with blacklisting organisations as driven by “civic duty”

Blacklist Support Group statement:

“The Operation Herne report demonstrates exactly why victims of undercover police surveillance have no faith in the police investigating themselves.  There is already irrefutable evidence in the public domain that officers from undercover police units actually attended secret Consulting Association blacklist meetings, yet this is not even mentioned by Herne. Undercover Special Demonstration Squad officers are known to have posed as construction workers and infiltrated picket lines and union meetings. Information on some blacklist files could only have come from the police or the security services.  In relation to police collusion in blacklisting, the Operation Herne 2nd Report is a complete whitewash.

Only a fully independent public inquiry into the full extent of police links with corporate spying will expose the undemocratic shady practices. Any public inquiry should not be narrowly focused on the Lawrence case but should encompass the sexual relationships with female activists, Hillsborough, environmental and anti-racist campaigners, blacklisting and police collusion with big business.

There are secret political police in the UK – they are called Special Branch, MI5 and GCHQ. They spy on their own citizens who are involved in perfectly lawful political campaigning. We will continue to fight until we achieve justice”.


Blacklist Support Group Facebook.

We are also interested in the career on one Bob Lambert.

Latest news.

Lawyers for the two campaigners announced on Friday that they were seeking to overturn their convictions, alleging that the role of the undercover spy Bob Lambert was hidden from their original trial.

The pair, Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard, were convicted of setting fire to three Debenhams stores in the 1980s to protest against the sale of fur and jailed for three and four years respectively.

They only discovered more than two decades later that the long-haired protester they knew as “Bob Robinson” was actually Lambert, an SDS spy.

After he was exposed in 2011, Lambert admitted he had worked undercover in the 1980s to “identify and prosecute members of the Animal Liberation Front who were then engaged in widespread incendiary and explosive device campaigns against vivisectors, the meat and fur trades.” He said he succeeded in getting Clarke and Sheppard arrested and imprisoned.

Detective Inspector Robert Lambert receiving award by the Islamic Human Rights Commission

“The Islamic Human Rights Commission is proud to present this award to Inspector Robert Lambert (Head of Muslim contact Unit), upon his retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service. In appreciation for his integrity and commitment to promoting a fair, just and secure society for all, which, is a rarity and will be greatly missed.”

 Inspector Robert Lambert receiving an award from the Islamic Human Rights Commission in 2007.

At this event, there was a panel, “Challenging Islamophobia”.

Its first speakers was Dr Saied Ameli. He spoke on islamophobia from a sociological perspective and commended IHRCs role in combating it. Imam Al-Asi talked of the zionist factor in islamophobia, something which is often overlooked.

Imam Muhammad Al-Asi the elected Imam of Washington DC Islamic Center, “spoke about zionist influence on university campuses.

Sister Yvonne Ridley and  George Galloway spoke.

Dr Abdul Wahid the leader of the National Executive Committee of Hizb ut Tahrir Britain,  criticized western countries selective talk of human rights, and praised the IHRC.

More on Bob Lambert, “During the IHRC’s dealing with the Metropolitan Police, in all the lies, insincerity and deception there was one person the IHRC encountered who genuinely “fought the cause of justice within the police force to try and not demonize the Muslim community” – that was Detective Inspector Robert Lambert. Detective Inspector Robert Lambert is the head of the Muslim Contact Unit at New Scotland Yard. On his retirement from the police force the Islamic Human Rights Commission invited him to join them in the struggle for justice.”

By contrast this what happened in October 2011 when Lambert was a star speaker at the Celebrate Diversity, Defend Multiculturalism, Oppose Islamophobia and Racism conference.

Campaigners today outed the most-senior-yet police spy responsible for infiltrating environmental and social justice campaigns.

Former Detective Inspector Bob Lambert MBE had just spoken at a “One Society, Many Cultures” anti-racist conference attended by 300 delegates at the Trades Union Congress HQ in Central London. He was then challenged by 5 members of London Greenpeace who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector.

At present apparently this is what he is doing,

Robert Lambert 

Senior Lecturer (PT) – John Grieve Policing Centre

Dr. Lambert divides his time between two part-time teaching posts: here at the John Grieve Policing Centre and at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews. At both centres he teaches postgraduate and undergraduate modules based on his research and published work on terrorism, counter-terrorism, far right political violence and anti-Muslim hate crimes.



13 Responses

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  1. This one isn’t going to go away and the Lawrence affair is only one small part of it.


    March 9, 2014 at 3:53 pm

  2. If you trawl through the alumni and present students at CSTPV you get a veritable who’s who of very senior (ex) police officers who shaped and continue to shape ‘counter terrorism’ and ‘domestic extremism’ strategy – and those making a mint selling ‘consultation’ on same in the private sector.

    You will also see links between some of these policing bigwigs, and seemingly small-fry coppers engaged in the likes of EG teams, FIT and PLOs.


    March 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

  3. John Grieve was also one of the undercover police officers involved in the 1977 LSD bust Operation Julie. He has also been involved in the Lawrence investigation. I’ll give some links later. I don’t know if the writers of the book know this. Interesting that Lambert teaches at The John Grieve Policing Centre.


    March 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

  4. Grieve’s involvement in taking over the Lawrence murder investigation (and in setting up CO24) is fairly well known.

    Ellison is interesting in that information from Special Branch (including from SDS, and notably from N81) was passed on to CO24, yet Grieve is at pains to describe how there was no chain of command between him and Walton, preferring instead to divert attention onto Quick.

    Before Lambert took up his role at London Met, he had a similar post at University of Exeter, alongside his academic partner Jonathan Githens-Mazer. Lambert and Githens-Mazer set up a consultancy business together. The business address links Lambert to a house previously raided in connection to Islamist radicals.



    March 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

  5. Does anyone know when Grieve was divisional commander at Bethnal Green in the East End of London? It is listed on his Wiki entry but with no date.


    March 9, 2014 at 10:18 pm

  6. I can’t find anything definitive, but looking though Gillard & Flynn’s Untouchables (p550), he was certainly there in 1990:

    He [Brian Moore] had recently [some time between August 1989 and March 1990] transferred to Bethnal Green police station to work under a new mentor, John Grieve.

    This was from a section detailing Moore’s work at Stoke Newington, and before he became a high-ranking CIB3 officer.

    Here’s a rough skeleton of Grieve’s career, from the book above and elsewhere:

    1966: Joins Met, Clapham

    1982: BA in Philosophy & Psychology from Newcastle Uni

    1986: M Phil from Cranfield Institute of Technology (police drug and crime strategies)

    ‘Late 1980s’: 2 Area Drug Squad (Chapter 26, note 3 – pp779-780)

    1989?-1993?: Divisional Commander, Bethnal Green

    1993: Commander Grieve running SO11 as Head of Criminal Intelligence (DCS Roy Clark joins him later same year as deputy)

    Late 1993: Grieve & Clark propose establishment of ‘Ghost Squad’ (CIBIC)

    1996: Commander Grieve heads ATB (SO13) (also: ‘National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism’ according to Portsmouth Uni biog) (surely should be National Coordinator Terrorism Investigations?)

    1997: Grieve made DAC

    Late 1997: Commissioner Condon announces evidence of large scale corruption in Met, and establishment of ‘Untouchables’ (CIB3) to effect action based on CIBIC intell and evidence (Again, Grieve & Clark have strong roles)

    1998: Sets up and leads CO24 as Director of Racial and Violent Crime Task Force

    1999: Takes over Lawrence murder investigation

    1999: Awarded CBE

    2002: Grieve retires from Met

    2003: John Grieve Centre set up at Buckingham Chiltern UC

    2004: Lawrence family informed via CPS that no prosecutions will take place

    2006: JGC moves to London Met Uni

    Also: Head of Training at Hendon; stints on Flying Squad, Robbery Squad and Murder Squad; SIO status(?); worked undercover; Policy Chair of Drug Squad…

    He was soon absorbed into the detective force and, by the early Seventies, was on the Drug Squad, tracking the misdemeanours of his counter-cultural contemporaries: there are plenty of now-respectable media figures who were stopped and searched for acid and marijuana by John Grieve in their wilder days; at the time, they say, he looked exactly like any other street hippy with his long hair, scruffy jeans, windbreaker and plimsolls.

    “By [the time Grieve wrote his university thesis], I was in my mid-thirties and I had been in the Drug Squad and I knew all the players in the Porn Squad scandal. I came back for the second big Drug Squad scandal and for Countryman.”

    Grieve served for a time as Commander of Training and before that as a uniformed inspector, but the greater part of his career has been as a detective – in 1976, he was commended for his courage and ability in smashing a Triad drugs gang. He served on the Flying Squad as a Detective Sergeant, as Detective Inspector in Notting Hill, as Detective Chief Inspector on the Central Drug Squad, and in the east London murder squad.




    March 10, 2014 at 12:27 am

  7. I can’t find anything definitive, but looking though Gillard & Flynn’s Untouchables (p550), he was certainly there in 1990:

    He [Brian Moore] had recently [some time between August 1989 and March 1990] transferred to Bethnal Green police station to work under a new mentor, John Grieve.

    This was from a section detailing Moore’s work at Stoke Newington, and before he became a high-ranking CIB3 officer.




    March 10, 2014 at 12:29 am

  8. Tanks Bristle.


    March 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

  9. I meant Thanks but the h sticks on my keyboard.


    March 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

  10. Here is Bob Pitt (still working for Labour on the GLA?) on the “admirable” Lambert,

    This was written in August 2013.

    “Lambert’s work as a police agent therefore achieved an admirable result (the breaking up of a cell of firebombers), but by reprehensible means (the infiltration of a group of peaceful protestors). The obvious question, which Undercover fails to address, is how can the state legitimately counter outfits that promote and engage in violent criminality or terrorism?

    Lambert himself developed an alternative model for such counter-extremist work when he established the Muslim Contact Unit (MCU) as part of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch in 2002. As he shows in his book Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, he adopted an entirely different method from the one he had implemented in the 1980s. Instead of organising the infiltration of Muslim groups, Lambert openly approached them in order to enlist their co-operation in combating violent extremists within the Muslim community. The ousting of Abu Hamza’s supporters from Finsbury Park Mosque in 2005 was the most notable success for Lambert’s strategy, and the MCU also worked constructively with the leadership of Brixton Mosque who were resisting the influence of Al Qaeda sympathisers among Muslim youth.

    Obsessed with their demonisation of Lambert, the authors of Undercover give him no credit at all for these achievements. Rather, they assert that the MCU was only “ostensibly” designed to build relations with Islamic groups, and they suggest that in reality it may well have served as “a front for a more sinister intelligence-gathering exercise”. No evidence whatsoever is offered to substantiate this accusation.

    The strategy pursued by Lambert and the MCU proved highly controversial, involving as it did co-operation with Muslim Brotherhood supporters and ultra-conservative Salafis. Some senior officers were critical of the MCU’s work with people they categorised as domestic extremists. The MCU also came under public attack from the neocon think-tank Policy Exchange, who accused Lambert and his colleagues of appeasing Islamists. The MCU was further isolated after 2006 when the then Labour government bought the argument that peaceful proponents of political Islam should be cold-shouldered because they opened the door to violent extremists – a stupid and ignorant analysis that resulted in the government breaking links with the mainstream Muslim Council of Britain in order to push forward the minuscule, entirely unrepresentative and now thankfully defunct Sufi Muslim Council.

    Lambert retired from the police force in 2007 and subsequently played a prominent role in resisting the rising tide of often violent bigotry directed against the Muslim community, while using his standing as an expert in counter-terrorism to urge the government and security services to devote more attention to combating the growing threat from the far right – much to the displeasure of the likes of Andrew Gilligan. Unfortunately, although Lambert retains his post as lecturer in Terrorism Studies at the University of St Andrews, this excellent work has been seriously undermined as a result of Evans and Lewis’s campaign against him.

    As they comment smugly in a passage at the conclusion of their book: “Lambert’s professional life has taken a turn for the worse. Many of the invitations to make speeches appear to have dried up and Lambert has been obliged to leave an academic post as co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre at Exeter University. It was a major setback; he had been at the beginning of a decade-long programme of research.”

    Evans and Lewis are evidently very pleased with themselves over their role in destroying this work and effectively driving Lambert out of public life, on the basis of denunciations of his actions as a relatively junior copper over a quarter of a century ago. The far-right thugs responsible for the recent wave of attacks on the Muslim community will no doubt applaud their efforts.”


    Andrew Coates

    March 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

  11. Pitt is obviously taking the far left line that groups like the MCB are in fact peaceful and the evidence for this is that they say they are. The fact that they invite to this country and facilitate preachers who call for gays to be killed and ones like Al Sudais who compare Jews and Christians to snakes and pigs is, of course, totally irrelevant.

    I don’t know whether or not Pitt is still working for Labour at the GLA Andrew but I will make enquiries. It wouldn’t surprise me although they have finally woken up to Islamist extremism as a result of events in Tower Hamlets over the last few years. The demise of Livingstone has been a great blessing as he encouraged every kind of nutter going and financed them as well.


    March 11, 2014 at 4:06 am

  12. Andrew. He clearly has a paranoid mindset. I have asked an Asian journalist friend of mine who is interested in the whole issue of radicalisation to ask the Labour Group on the GLA if Pitt is employed by them in any capacity so I might have information later in the day.


    March 11, 2014 at 10:49 am

  13. Net is closing on on ex Det Sgt Davidson formerly of Menorca.


    September 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

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