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Woman entitled to know the real name of the police spy she had a relationship with, inquiry orders

A WOMAN who had an “intimate sexual relationship” with an undercover police officer must be told his real name, an inquiry has ordered.

The police spy, using the cover name Rob Harrison, slept with the woman known only as Maya while he infiltrated the pro-Palestine International Solidarity Movement (ISM) between 2004 and 2007.

Undercover Policing Inquiry chairman Sir John Mitting said: “She knew him in his cover name. She is entitled to know his real name.”

The retired High Court judge said that once Maya is given the officer’s real name, she can “make such use as she thinks right of personal information which she is entitled to.”

The officer “does not dispute” the woman’s claims about their relationship, nor her right to know his real name, but he had sought to prevent her from releasing it to the wider public.

Previously the inquiry had referred to Rob Harrison by the cipher HN18.

He was part of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a disgraced Special Branch unit which was tasked with infiltrating protest groups.

The force has faced numerous legal claims over relationships between SDS members and activists, including the fathering of children by undercover cops.

Asa Winstanley, an investigative journalist and former ISM activist, told the Morning Star this decision was “a small but significant step that could help lead us towards the truth of the police infiltration of our Palestine solidarity group, ISM London.” 

He asked: “What was Rob writing about us in his reports to his police bosses? And was that information being sent to Israeli authorities? 

“We deserve the answers to these questions.”

But Mr Mitting refused to release the real names of two other SDS officers, HN126 and HN296, who used the cover names Paul Gray and Geoff Wallace.

In a fourth case, the chairman said that the cover name of police spy Mike Ferguson cannot be revealed.

There is now only one request for anonymity by a former SDS officer, which the inquiry is yet to decide upon.

He is known by the cover name Anthony “Bobby” Lewis and a decision is expected to be reached by the end of the year.

The inquiry, which was set up by Theresa May, has so far been dominated by concerns about whether to grant anonymity to the undercover policemen.

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