THE Pitchford public inquiry into undercover policing has today issued a very short press release that admits that 'Carlo Neri' was an undercover officer. The 'Update on anonymity applications' reads: The Inquiry has received confirmation that no restriction is sought over the undercover identity used by the police officer core participant known as N104, which was 'Carlo Neri'.
The Blacklist Support Group, has been granted core participant status in the Pitchford inquiry issued the following statement:
'Carlo Neri spied on blacklisted trade union members and anti-racist campaigners, while at the same time having long term sexual relationships with female activists he was keeping under surveillance. There are serious concerns about his conduct while undercover including allegations that he acted as an agent provocateur, inciting anti-fascist activists to commit an arson attack on a charity shop which was run by the Italian fascist Roberto Fiore.
Neri was only exposed after collective efforts of activists ourselves working along side investigative journalists and researchers. Both Newsnight and The Guardian ran the original story. Photographic evidence from 2005 of Neri spying on an RMT picketline in Kings Cross were published in the "Blacklisted" book published last month.
'The public statement by the Pitchford inquiry is a vindication of our campaign for justice but this admission has been dragged out of the police who have repeatedly adopted the line that they can 'neither confirm nor deny' (NCND) whether individuals named by activists in the media were police officers. The same NCND tactic used to obstruct the truth is also being applied to the hundreds of campaign groups targeted by the Special Demonstration Squad. While now being forced into admitting that 'Carlo Neri' was a police officer, the Met Police is still refusing to provide relevant police files to those that he targeted.
'Now is the time for the Met Police to come clean and release the cover names of all the spycops and a list of the campaigns that were infiltrated by these undemocratic political policing units. The continued obstruction by the Met Police endangers the very integrity of the public inquiry. The police are supposed to be accountable to society: Its now reaching the point where parliament needs to step in and get a grip of these anti-democratic forces.'
'Andrea' (not her real name) is part of the Police Spies out of Lives campaign and is currently suing the Metropolitan Police for the emotional abuse caused by the activities of Carlo Neri. During his deployment, the married undercover officer lived with and proposed marriage to the female activist he was targeting. 'Andrea' reacted to the Pitchford announcement:
'I am of course relieved to have finally received official confirmation that the person I believed to be my partner of more than two years - Carlo Neri - was in reality an undercover police officer. The fact that it has taken the police so long to acknowledge this has undoubtedly caused additional stress and uncertainty within an already difficult situation for myself and my family. MPS initially refused to comment on my complaint, stating that the UCPI would deal with my allegations, but have subsequently stated that they will not contest liability. My case is now in process. MPS do however continue with their inexplicable 'neither confirm nor deny' policy. This is quite simply a strategy to obfuscate, deny access to the truth and it has to stop. As survivors of their abuse, we demand that ALL spycops cover names are released.'
Kate Ellis, from Imran Khan and Partners, the solicitors representing the blacklisted trade union members and anti-racist campaigners targeted by Carlo Neri issued the following statement:
'We welcome the Inquiry’s confirmation of an undercover police officer’s cover name. This shows to our clients in fact how essential it was for there to be a Public Inquiry. To date, the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Operation Herne’ investigation has continued to maintain the absurd position of ‘neither confirming nor denying’ that Carlo Neri was an undercover police officer – despite the fact that everyone else knows and accepts that he was.
'The Inquiry’s transparency in confirming undercover officers’ identities should not only be welcomed; it should be the default position. The stark difference in approach between the Metropolitan Police and the Inquiry shows that there is an even greater need for the police to open up their files for scrutiny.'
Photographic evidence of Carlo Neri on the RMT picket line is available exclusively from freelance photographer Andrew Wiard (NUJ) firstname.lastname@example.org
Pitchford statement in full: https://www.ucpi.org.uk/
Blacklist Support Group