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by Bethany Rielly
A CAMPAIGNER deceived into a six-year relationship with a spycop has accused the Undercover Policing Inquiry of snubbing the “pivotal” role played by women in uncovering the scandal.
Lisa — the name is a pseudonym to protect her identity — also criticised the public inquiry for treating campaigners as “secondary” to the police.
The environmental activist exposed the true identity of her former partner, undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, whom she was with from 2003 to 2010.
Her revelation kick-started a series of events that laid bare the existence of top-secret police units, which had infiltrated over 1,000 progressive groups since 1968.
At least 30 women are known to have been tricked into sexual relationships with spycops, with many of those targeted discovering the truth through their own tireless investigations.
However, Lisa insisted that the women have not been “taken seriously” by the inquiry, which began to examine the spycops’ tactics last week.
She highlighted lead counsel David Barr’s opening speech last Monday, in which he “completely discounted” the contribution of the women while giving a potted history of the events that led to the probe being launched.
“It was my own research that led to the uncovering of Mark Kennedy, that led to the big media outcry … and they didn’t acknowledge that at all on Monday,” she told the Morning Star.
Lisa said the omission was a reflection of how the inquiry views the women only as “victims” and not as “people who have the expertise we have or have played such a pivotal role.
“The inquiry still hasn’t acknowledged the importance of the information that the people who were spied on have contributed to this.”
Lisa also raised concerns that the inquiry is treating their evidence as secondary to the police.
“The information that we have about what the officers did in our lives is crucial because what the police are showing, what they are bringing, is definitely coming from a damage-limitation caveat,” she said.
Other campaigners spied on by undercover officers have also raised concerns that the inquiry is relying on the police as the “principal source of information.”
Lisa added: “We find that not only insulting but that also takes away the faith I have that this inquiry is going to get anywhere near to something like the truth.”
The opening statement of core participants deceived into relationships with spycops will be heard on Monday.
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