A former undercover police officer who had close ties to the Muslim community has been accused of being the co-writer of a libellous leaflet critical of fast-food giant McDonalds which led to the longest civil trial in English history.
According to the Guardian newspapaer, one of the authors of the “McLibel leaflet” was Bob Lambert, a police officer who used the alias “Bob Robinson” in his five years infiltrating Greenpeace.
From 1980 to 2008 Lambert was a police officer in London, with service in Special Branch where he was head of the Muslim Contact Unit.
Lambert was instrumental in removing Abu Hamza from Finsbury Park mosque with the help of several prominent members of the British Muslim community, many of whom continued to praise him and have ties with him after he was exposed as a former police spy.
Lambert was also heavily involved in working with “south London salafis” supposedly countering al Qaeda, as he himself outlined in a book.
His philosophy was to work with prominent members of the Muslim community who had “street credibility” in order to counter the supposedly violent message of radicals.
In the course of his police service, and to gain credibility as an activist, Lambert formed friendships with other leftist movement members and embarked on long-term relationships with women as a means of establishing a cover story. He even fathered a child with one of the activists he was spying on before vanishing from their lives when his deployment ended.
A spokesman for the Met told the Guardian that he “recognises the seriousness of the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and practices involving past undercover deployments”. He added that a number of allegations surrounding undercover officers were currently being investigated.
He added: “At some point it will fall upon this generation of police leaders to account for the activities of our predecessors, but for the moment we must focus on getting to the truth.”
Lambert declined to comment about his role in the production of the McLibel leaflet. However, he previously offered a general apology for deceiving “law abiding members of London Greenpeace”, which he said was a peaceful campaign group.
Lambert is now working as a lecturer in Terrorism Studies at the University of St Andrews and is co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre in the Department of Politics at Exeter Universty.