Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party




spotElection campaigns



spotSocialist women


spotYouth and Students

All keywords

Youth keywords:

Apathy (2)

Apprenticeships (26)

ASBOs (7)

Black youth (12)

Campaign to Defeat Fees (40)

Childrens homes (1)

Croxteth Comprehensive School (1)

Educational Maintenance Allowance (4)

EMA (65)

Freshers fairs (15)

Gangs (6)

Grants (27)

Policing (46)

Sick Of Your Boss (18)

Students (1277)

Teenage obesity (1)

Workfare (43)

Workfare protests (6)

YFJ (98)

Young people (642)

Young workers (80)

Youth (614)

Youth Fight for Education (12)

Youth Fight for Jobs (366)

Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1608)

Anti-fascist (1019)

Anti-racism (1255)

Anti-war (2366)

Art (592)

Asylum (403)

Black and Asian (578)

Children (498)

CNWP (121)

Corporate crime (3)

Disability (439)

Education (7312)

Election campaigns (4386)

Environment (1429)

EU (661)

Finance (194)

Food (356)

Gender Recognition Act (7)

Health and safety (41)

Health and welfare (1113)

Housing (2272)

Human Rights (511)

LGBT Pride (368)

Local government (5093)

Local services (4786)

Low pay (762)

Migration (69)

Nationalisation (218)

New workers party (571)

NHS (4538)

Pensions (987)

Post Office (275)

Poverty (734)

Privatisation (1273)

Public Services (1411)

Socialism (1197)

Socialist (71)

Sport (298)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (7)

Students (3572)

The state (2305)

Transport (1016)

TUSC (1076)

Welfare rights (1363)

Women (1676)

Workplace and TU campaigns (19040)

Youth (3409)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity

6 November 2020

Search site for keywords: Police - Socialist - Socialist Party - Dave Nellist - Militant - Policing - State - Press - Hannah Sell - MI5 - CPSA

Socialists, including Labour MP, spied on by police and security services

Nearly six years after it was set up the Undercover Policing Inquiry has finally begun, albeit in an extremely limited and inadequate way. The Inquiry has not released the names of the big majority of the organisations spied on, nor has it given us the real - or even the cover - names of the majority of spies. The 'non-state core participants' - those who were spied on - have in almost all cases still received none of the police files relevant to them.

Even so, some things are clear. In his opening statement to the Inquiry, James Scobie QC, representing five core participants including Socialist Party members Dave Nellist, Lois Austin and Hannah Sell, lambasted the "political policing" of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) which saw as many as "over a thousand" organisations infiltrated of which "only the tiniest fraction, perhaps only three were from the right wing".

Those spied on included Dave Nellist, a Labour MP for Coventry South East and supporter of the Militant Tendency (now the Socialist Party). Scobie explained that, "whilst he was a serving MP, M15 contacted the West Midlands Police Force and having being tasked to infiltrate Militant they targeted Dave Nellist."

Scobie also pointed out that, "This is not the only example of M15 operating covert surveillance of organisations within which Militant supporters had won elected positions. When cabinet papers from 1984 were released under the thirty year rule they revealed that Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong, at the behest of M15, presented a paper expressing concerns about the election of Militant supporters in the civil servants' trade union CPSA."

"The result was the establishment of the Orwellian-sounding 'Interdepartmental Group on Subversives in Public Life', with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recorded as stating that the civil service should be 'very ready to sack subversive trouble makers...' This was government-sanctioned victimisation of democratically-elected trade unionists."

At the previous day of the Inquiry Oliver Sanders QC, representing the majority of Undercover Officers whose victims are the subject of the Inquiry, made clear that the SDS were acting under the direction of MI5 and reported to them.

Scobie concluded by calling for, "an end to all political policing. For a police force which is democratically accountable to the communities that they should be serving."

These are not just historical issues. At the same time as the Inquiry meets, the government is proposing a bill which protects the next generation of undercover policing infiltrating the workers' and socialist movement. The 'Spycops' Bill would give state agents immunity from prosecution if they commit crimes while undercover. They will be allowed to do so, for example, against trade unionists in order to maintain 'economic well-being'. What does that mean but protecting the 'economic well-being' of employers who feel their profits are threatened by workers' strike action?

The Mitting Inquiry provides an opportunity to campaign for answers about the extent of the spying, the consequences, and who was responsible for it. Most importantly, it gives an opportunity to publicise the role of state agencies during the last 50 years in acting to defend the existing capitalist order and the measures they were prepared to take in order to do so.


Info for press

  • Dave Nellist, Lois Austin and Hannah Sell will be available for interview from 8 am on Wednesday 11 November at the UCPI Evidence Hearings, Amba Hotel, Marble Arch, London
  • These issues will be discussed at Socialism 2020, a major socialist forum of discussion and debate taking place from 20-23 November, 2020:
  • The Socialist Party is a campaigning, democratic organisation. Our members played a leading role on Liverpool Labour council in the 1980s when it defied Thatcher and refused to implement cuts, winning 60 million to spend on jobs and services in the city.
  • Socialist Party members were among the leaders of the struggle in the late 1980s and early 1990s when 18 million people nationwide refused to pay the hated Poll Tax. We fight against all attacks on the rights and living standards of working class people and stand for a socialist alternative.
  • For reports and video clips about the Socialist Party:
  • To arrange interviews and any other information requests, please contact: Sarah Sachs-Eldridge: 079 580 320 71 020 8988 8771 [email protected]

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020