By Jamie Doward and Mark Townsend
G20 police ‘used undercover men to incite crowds’
MP demands inquiry into Met tactics at demo
An MP who was involved in last month’s G20 protests in London is to call for an investigation into whether the police used agents provocateurs to incite the crowds.
Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards.
Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.
Brake, a member of the influential home affairs select committee, will raise the allegations when he gives evidence before parliament’s joint committee on human rights on Tuesday.
“When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, ‘There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,'” Brake said. But when the crowd became suspicious of the men and accused them of being police officers, the pair approached the police line and passed through after showing some form of identification.
Brake has produced a draft report of his experiences for the human rights committee, having received written statements from people in the crowd. These include Tony Amos, a photographer who was standing with protesters in the Royal Exchange between 5pm and 6pm. “He [one of the alleged officers] was egging protesters on. It was very noticeable,” Amos said. “Then suddenly a protester seemed to identify him as a policeman and turned on him. He legged it towards the police line, flashed some ID and they just let him through, no questions asked.”
The use of plain-clothes officers in crowd situations is considered a vital tactic for gathering evidence.
The MP said that given only a few people were allowed out of the corralled crowd for the five hours he was held inside it, there should be no problem in investigating the allegation by examining video footage.
Union Leader stops provocateurs & the police are forced to admit it