A father who believes undercover police used his dead baby son’s identity has welcomed a decision by the Scottish Parliament not to allow such officers the legal right to break the law.
On Tuesday, MSPs voted by 92 to 27 against legislative consent for the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, which is going through Westminster.
Holyrood’s rejection of the bill means it will not cover Scotland once it comes into law, potentially leaving Scottish police and intelligence agents unable to mount covert operations that could involve them committing criminal offences to protect their cover.
The vote was welcomed by Gordon Peters, a former social work director from Bishopton, Renfrewshire, who knows the north London cemetery where his son Benjamin was buried in 1979 was scoured by police officers seeking to create false identities.
Mr Peters said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament has voted not to back this bill which potentially allows undercover police to commit crimes.
“No one should be above the law, especially when it causes so much grief to decent citizens.
“We have to live in a society which observes dignity and respect, especially to those who cannot defend themselves.
“The Scottish parliament has shown it has a conscience and that has to be appreciated.”
Scotland’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, whose party opposed the Bill, said greater safeguards were needed around rules which allow undercover police to engage in criminal conduct.
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