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Met Police Must Reveal Names Of Dead Children Used In Undercover Identities, Says Keith Vaz

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KEITH VAZ
Keith Vaz has called for the Met to release the identities of those children whose identities might have been used by police | PA

The parents of dead children whose identities were used by undercover police officers must be informed by the Met immediately, the chair of the home affairs select committee has said.

Speaking to the Guardian, which uncovered how 80 dead children's identities may have been used by an undercover police squad, Keith Vaz said it was "absolutely vital that the parents of those involved should be informed immediately. It is heartless and cruel for this information to be kept from them."

The Labour MP said he would write the home secretary, Theresa May, to request parents be immediately informed and how aware ministers were of the practice.

On Tuesday, the home affairs select committee is to question Patricia Gallan, the Met's deputy assistant commissioner and head of undercover policing, who is in command of the investigation into the controversy.

The creation of aliases resulted in officers being issued with official documents such as driving licences and national insurance numbers.

Met Police 'Used Dead Children's Identities' For Undercover Operations Says Guardian Report

Scotland Yard said the practice was not "currently" authorised and that it was investigating the allegations. The Met's spokesman said they would not be commenting on Vaz's call to release the names that were used to bereaved parents.

The practice was allegedly adopted to lend credibility to officers working undercover and provide them with a back story while spying.

One officer, who adopted the fake persona of Pete Black while undercover in anti-racist groups, told the Guardian he felt he was "stomping on the grave" of the four-year-old boy whose identity he used.

"A part of me was thinking about how I would feel if someone was taking the names and details of my dead son for something like this," he said.

Another officer, who used the identity of a child car crash victim, said he was conscious the parents would "still be grief-stricken" but argued his actions could be justified because they were for the "greater good".

Both officers worked for the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), which was apparently disbanded in 2008.

Jules Carey, one of the solicitors representing victims of undercover policing, will give evidence at Tuesday's hearing and the committee will also hold a closed session to hear evidence from women duped into sexual relationships with undercover police officers, some of the 11 who are suing the Met.

The Home Office said it had no comment to make until May receives the request from Vaz.

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