Minister agrees to examine police whistle-blower claim on child spies

I have asked the government to investigate a claim by a whistle-blower that the police are setting targets for regional police services to increase the use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) as part of their efforts to combat county lines drug gangs. The whistle-blower approached my office with the information, but I can not verify the claim and have asked the Minister in the Lords to find out if this is happening. Continue reading “Minister agrees to examine police whistle-blower claim on child spies”

Government will count number of spy kids used by police

At last, after much nagging, the government is starting to count the number of juveniles used as police spies, or as they call them, Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS). In a Lords’ debate, peers criticised the government for extending to four months the time that children can be used by the police before the operation is reviewed and can be extended. I have organised another airing of this issue with an oral question to the Minister on 18th March. 

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Taser use needs radical rethink

Since the introduction of Tasers to the UK police force in 2003, the number of officers carrying tasers, as well as the number of incidents involving tasers, has grown dramatically. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, there were 18,000 reported incidents involving tasers, which have disproportionately affected black people and people with mental disabilities.

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Trade Bill update

My amendment on the Trade Bill was debated this week, with support from Labour and Lib Dems. It contains the current protections for the standards we have. But the Government seems reluctant to accept it, even though the Prime Minister herself has said that she doesn’t want to weaken existing standards in future trade agreements. At the moment it would be possible for Ministers to use statutory instruments to change the rules on this, but my amendment would guarantee these minimum standards were kept for rolling over all the trade deals that we currently have as a result of EU membership.

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The police helped blacklist trade unionists

Unfortunately I couldn’t be at the meeting organised by the Blacklist Support Group but this is my message of support:

It’s been a privilege to be allied with the Blacklist Support Group in their exposure of the corruption within the police. There are direct links between the lives ruined by blacklisting, the spying on people labelled domestic extremists like myself, and the invasion of many women’s lives by undercover police. Political policing has been a nasty reality in this country for decades and I stand in solidarity with all those trade unionists and campaigners who have worked hard to expose the lies and deceits which state sponsored spying has inflicted on innocent people.

Green Party Peer Launches Bid To Scrap House of Lords

I today launched the House of Lords (Elections and Reform) Bill. This comes on the day that the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has criticised the Government for kicking the issue of Lords reform into the long grass for more than 107 years. 

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The big solar rip off

Imagine investing thousands of pounds in a business that produces something everyone wants, but the government tells you that if you produce more than you need then you will have to give it to a big corporation free of charge, so they can sell it to their customers. This is state approved, corporate theft and it’s due to start this April, in the UK. Continue reading “The big solar rip off”

Meeting with Minister on Trade Bill changes

I had a meeting this week with Trade Minister Baroness Fairhead to discuss my amendment to the Trade Bill which aims to make our existing standards the foundation of all new trade agreements. Despite the number of advisors in the meeting on the government side, no one could give any reason why my amendment was bad in law or in principle. From what Ministers say in public, we are all in agreement about not using trade deals to lower standards. The main disagreement is over whether we need this principle enshrined in law. Continue reading “Meeting with Minister on Trade Bill changes”

Further questions on child spies

The police now have a four-month period before they have to review the deployment of individual child spies. I want to know if this change in the rules by the government will lead to the police using child spies more frequently. As well as putting forward a series of written questions (below), I will ask this question of the Government on 18thMarch:

“Further to the Regret Motion of 16 October 2018, what assessment has Her Majesties Government made of the recruitment, use, deployment, numbers and oversight of children used as spies by the Police?” Continue reading “Further questions on child spies”