The way ‘undercover’ policemen like Bob Lambert deceived women is incredibly sinister

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Neither the Met or Lambert will say whether his bosses knew that he had fathered a child while undercover, then abandoned him

“My relationship with him is something precious to me that I want to keep out of this situation.” This, his voice breaking, is what a man in his thirties, maybe his early forties, had to say on Channel 4 News this week about his father. We don’t know the name of the son.

He is known to the public only as TBS. We do know then name of the father though. He is Bob Lambert MBE, a man who has been decorated by his country for his work over many years in covert police operations.

Until 2011, TBS didn’t know that his father was Bob Lambert, police officer, though. He thought that his father was Bob Robinson, animal rights activist, forced to flee the country, his partner and his two-year-son because he was wanted by the police for his crimes against animal cruelty.

Eight years on and TBS knows nothing further. His mother, Jacquie, did receive a £425,000 compensation pay-out from the Metropolitan Police in 2014, after bringing up her son alone and under false pretences. TBS wants more than anything to know more. He wants more than anything to know his father. He wants, I think, to know that his father acted in the way that he did because he was only obeying orders.

TBS is suing the Metropolitan Police, alleging that he has suffered psychological damage from the long lie about who his father was. The Met has responded by requesting that Lambert be made its co-defendant, so that the son is forced to sue the father too.

Neither the Met or Lambert will say whether his bosses knew that he had fathered a child while undercover, then abandoned him. This is what TBS yearns to have knowledge of.

Most of us have known people who, for one reason or another, do not know their parents. We know how it can tug at people, how it can hurt them and defy their attempts to get on with their lives. To think that you did know, to find out that nothing had been as you had been brought up to believe – neither for you nor your mother.

That is terrible.

To see the man who is your father on television, insisting that he does not ‘choose’ to reveal whether his son was known to his bosses or not, as Lambert has done. To know that he has other children – your siblings – but will have nothing to do with you, the baby he watched being born and held in his arms. That is monstrous.

For three years now, a government inquiry into covert police operations has been going on, after at least 20 women found out that the men they had relationships with had really been undercover officers. The inquiry continues, remarkable in its failure to reveal anything much about what is and was considered permissible undercover activity by the Metropolitan Police at all.

It has published a list of groups that were infiltrated, mainly left wing groups, going back as far as 1968 – the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign – but also as recently as 2007 and Globalise Resistance. Another 73 cover names have been published, alongside ‘Bob Robinson’. The existence of ten officers whose cover name is unknown, and one whose cover name is unknown but whose real identity is known, have been revealed.

Another 36 have been confirmed as existing, cover and real name known but as yet not in the public domain.

Among many aspects of this inquiry in which seemingly obvious findings are utterly absent are any findings about the psychological abuse that these operations inflicted and continue to inflict. “I was not consenting to sleeping with Bob Lambert,” TBS’s mother Jacqui said in a Dispatches documentary in 2013. “I didn’t know who Bob Lambert was. I had a spy living with me, sleeping with me, making a family with me, and I didn’t do anything to deserve that.”

One can only laugh bitterly, looking at the appalling record of the Metropolitan Police in investigating rape allegations, and knowing that sexual deception seems to have been part of its strategic armoury in investigating people with opinions and passions that the state did not like – and that the state in a number of cases has since changed its position on.

All that spying on environmental activists, when we are now at the stage where we don’t even know if it’s possible to stop devastating climate change at all any longer. The whole thing is grotesque.

When a woman uses sex to entice a man, it is called ‘a honey trap’ and the implication is that it is a bit off – unfair, sleazy, something that only a hard-bitten women would do. There doesn’t appear to be a name for a man who does something similar. The only one the public is aware of is this: Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

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