A police unit set up to monitor extremists has been spying on Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas for eight years, newly released files show.
The Guardian is today reporting that former Green Party leader Ms Lucas was logged as attending the Stop the MFE demonstration in April 2014, as well as a Brighton demo against disability cuts in February 2014, where it was noted she spoke with journalists.
Her eight-year-long file also records her participation in environmental demos in 2008 and 2009, while she was an MEP, and a speech given at an anti-austerity demo in London last June.
Ms Lucas told the Guardian: “Spending precious resources on monitoring elected politicians is a clear waste of the public’s money – and sends a chilling message to those who want to engage in peaceful political demonstrations. Nobody should be subject to arbitrary surveillance.
“It’s this kind of thinking that has led police in this country to waste vast amounts of taxpayers’ money in infiltrating environmental groups. The police should focus resources on fighting real crime, not attempting to stifle legitimate protest.”
The files also show that the Green’s London mayoral candidate Sian Berry has been monitored. It is already known that the domestic extremism unit has monitored London Assembly member Jenny Jones, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, and Kent councillor Ian Driver.
Police refused to comment on the specifics of the file, but said that the domestic extremism unit, which keeps files on thousands of protesters, gathers data for policing purposes.
The files were released after the four Green Party members submitted requests under the data protection act.
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