Scale of police spying on UK leftist party was ‘Orwellian’, inquiry hears

Dozens of officers infiltrated Socialist Workers party for decades, recording personal details of members

At least 24 undercover police officers infiltrated a small leftwing party as part of a surveillance operation criticised as being “Orwellian” and unjustified in its scale, a public inquiry has heard.

Officers were sent to spy on the Socialist Workers party (SWP) in deployments that usually lasted four years. The party, whose total membership fluctuated around a few thousand, was the leftwing group most infiltrated by undercover police.

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