Tag Archives: Green Party

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Statement from Caroline Lucas on the Westminster attack

22 March 2017

Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green Party, has responded to Wednesday’s attack in Westminster. 

She said:

“Our thoughts go out to all those affected by today’s attacks and we send deep thanks to the public servants who responded so quickly, bravely, and with care to treat the injured and minimise the number of casualties. We pay tribute to the lives that were so sadly lost and in particular to the police officer who died in the line of duty – we are truly in his debt.

“The response to such a heinous attack must be to strengthen our democracy, and refuse to give in to those who would harm it.”

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Police whistleblower alleges illegal hacking of campaigners’ emails

22 March 2017

The Domestic Extremism unit run by the Metropolitan Police deleted files in a bid to cover up illegal hacking of campaigners’ emails, a police whistleblower has revealed to Green peer Jenny Jones.

The unit, called the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU), deleted the files in May 2014 to hide the fact an operative, who was working under orders from a police officer, had been spying on the email accounts of a number of environmental and social justice campaigners. The police officer had been supplied with the campaigners’ passwords by the Covert Human Intelligence Source, the whistleblower revealed.

Lawyers at Bindmans, who are acting on behalf of Jenny Jones and others whose files had been shredded by the NDEDIU approached six of the people on the list to verify that the private email accounts and passwords were theirs. They then presented the letter to senior investigators at the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Baroness Jones had a follow-up meeting with the deputy head of the IPCC (over a week ago) to discuss what progress had been made. Baroness Jones discussed with the IPCC when she intended to publish.

Jenny Jones said:

”This illegal hacking by a police officer along with the collusion of officers within the Domestic Extremism Unit, is one of the worst cases of state snooping that I’ve ever heard. The personal information within the letter is accurate and it could only have been obtained illegally. There is more than enough to justify a full-scale criminal investigation into the activities of these police officers and referral to a public inquiry. I have urged the IPCC to act quickly to secure further evidence and to find out how many people were victims of this nasty practice. These emails could have contained personal information about medical conditions, worries of parents about their kids, family arguments and people’s love lives. It is completely unacceptable that the police can stick their noses into the lives of innocent people without a shred of evidence that they are involved in terrorism or serious crime.

“We need an immediate end to the police surveillance of non-violent campaign groups who have no association with serious crime. By allowing the police to spy on environmentalists and campaigners for social justice, the government invites the security services to intrude on ordinary people’s lives. That invitation to snoop provides cover for some officers to go further and to by-pass the law regulating state surveillance to read private emails about people’s personal lives. Whether it is undercover police forming long-term sexual relationships or these allegations that the police employ foreign hackers to open people’s emails. It all starts with the government giving the green light to spy on innocent people.

“I want to praise the brave whistleblowers within the Met Police who have given me this information. Given the appalling treatment by the Met of whistleblowers acting in the public interest,  I can completely understand why police officers might want to remain anonymous. Officers who care about the professionalism and political neutrality of the police are one of mainstays of a democratic society and deserve our support.”

Notes:

1. The IPCC were notified by phone on the 17th February, after six of the ten personal email accounts and passwords contained in the letter had been checked with the people concerned. The first meeting with them and Jenny’s lawyer took place on the 23rd Feb. IPCC investigators have now requested a formal witness statement from Jenny. 

2. The IPCC previously confirmed that there is evidence which suggests other documents were shredded after the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) was announced, and a specific MPS instruction had been issued that documents should not be destroyed without express permission.

In the IPCC press release Feb 2017, they state that:

Following a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in May 2016, the IPCC has been investigating allegations that documents kept by the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU) were shredded in May 2014.

The IPCC can confirm that there is evidence which suggests documents were shredded after the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) was announced, and a specific MPS instruction had been issued that documents should not be destroyed without express permission.

IPCC Deputy Chair Sarah Green, said “… investigation is ongoing. While the evidence indicates that a large number of documents were shredded over a period of days in May 2014, the difficult task ahead for our investigators is to determine what the documentation was, why it was destroyed, whether electronic copies were kept and who may have ordered its destruction.

“We are also examining what action the Metropolitan Police took once it was alerted, by a member of staff, to the allegations in December 2014.”

“Separately a complaint by Baroness Jenny Jones, that records held by the Metropolitan Police relating to her were destroyed or deleted in or about June 2014, was referred to the IPCC on 27 January. That complaint is now also subject to independent investigation.”

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Green MEP challenges government to eradicate money laundering following ‘laundromat’ revelations

21 March 2017

Green economist and MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said that revelations of the Eastern European ‘laundromat’ operating through the City of London emphasize the importance of current revisions to the EU anti-money-laundering directive. She was responding to an investigation into fictitious companies registered in London that had processed millions of pounds worth of laundered money from operations run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government [1]. She says the revelations show the need for national governments to assume their responsibility in eradicating existing money laundering routes. Molly Scott Cato said:

“The European Parliament has been clear in its proposal to change the rules governing financial transactions and crack down on such blatant money laundering. The proposals are currently being negotiated between the Parliament, the Commission and the Council and we must ensure that the Parliament’s proposal to create a public register of beneficial ownership in each member state is not watered down by national governments in the Council. Our proposal would force banks to make additional checks for suspicious clients and would have helped to prevent the ‘global laundromat’.

“We see again just how important binding rules are for all sectors. This kind of corrupt activity is only made possible by the existence of shell companies and phantom firms. The public register we are proposing would make it impossible for the clients of these companies to stay anonymous. They are the ultimate beneficial owner and their identity must be made public.”

The UK government has so far resisted public registers of trusts, arguing that individuals and companies deserve to have personal or confidential privacy. Dr Scott Cato concluded:

“The fact that the money laundering was focused on London should ring alarm bells in the context of threats from the Chancellor that Brexit may lead to a race to the bottom on tax standards. Arguments about privacy cannot be used to defend the laundering of money by criminals and we must ensure that the UK meets the highest EU standards following its exit from the bloc.”

Notes

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/20/british-banks-handled-vast-sums-of-laundered-russian-money?

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Green Party: Galloway’s a burnt out Brexiteer – only Greens offer real alternative in Gorton

21 March 2017

The Green Party has responded to news George Galloway will stand in the Manchester Gorton by-election saying he offers the constituency nothing but an “overinflated ego”.

Jonathan Bartley, whose party placed second in Gorton in the 2015 General Election [1], said only the Greens give Gorton “a real alternative to the status quo”.

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“George Galloway is a burnt out Brexiteer who offers nothing but an overinflated ego to the people of Manchester Gorton. Of course people want a real alternative to the status quo – that’s why the Green Party polled second in Gorton last time and why we got more than five times more votes than him in the London Mayoral election.

“We are the only party who can deliver a real alternative for Gorton and we will fight to make sure this constituency is not left behind or overlooked.”

Notes:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2016/london/results

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Green Party: Urgent investment needed to fix social care crisis

20 March 2017

The Green Party has responded to a BBC investigation which revealed care firms have cancelled contracts with 95 UK councils, saying they cannot deliver services for the amount they are being paid [1].

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, said:

“We are staring down the barrel of a social care crisis and the only way to fix it is proper investment. It is ludicrous that the Government keeps starving councils of funding and still expects them to deliver high quality social care and other vital services like libraries and youth centres.

“The £2bn over three years added in the budget for social care is simply not enough to sustain a system that is already on the verge of collapse because of the Government’s failure to act. Proper social care for the elderly should be a red line.

“The Green Party is the only party proposing that we make the right choice to invest in a secure future for our older people with free social care for everyone over 65.”

Notes:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39321579

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