EXCLUSIVE: Peterborough councillor speaks about undercover spy past for the first time after being named by inquiry

A Peterborough councillor has spoken about his undercover spy past for the first time after being named by a public inquiry.

Monday, 19th March 2018, 5:50 pm
Updated Monday, 19th March 2018, 5:55 pm
Andy Coles

Conservative councillor Andy Coles was deployed to infiltrate “some of the most committed and violent animal liberation extremists operating in the UK in the early 1990s,” he has exclusively told the Peterborough Telegraph.

The Tory member for Fletton and Woodston on Peterborough City Council has also publicly denied allegations against him for the first time after claims he had a relationship with a young activist called “Jessica” while working as an undercover officer.

The PT has previously revealed that no action was taken against him after he was twice referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Andy Coles

Mr Coles was previously the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire but resigned when the allegations first surfaced in May 2017.

At the time he said the coverage was “significantly impacting” on his ability to carry out the role.

His first public disclosure on his spy past comes only because he was named this evening (Monday, March 19) by the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

The inquiry is asking for people who came into contact with Mr Coles while he was using his undercover name of Andy Davey to come forward.

Protests against Andy Coles outside Peterborough Town Hall

Mr Coles said: “I am pleased at last to be able to confirm that in my past I was deployed as an undercover police officer to infiltrate some of the most committed and violent animal liberation extremists operating in the UK in the early 1990s.

“I am also pleased to confirm that both the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police have investigated the lurid claims made by a woman using the pseudonym “Jessica” and have told me I face no charges or any further investigation into her allegations, which I am now able to deny publicly.

“The right place to make further comment in this case is in the Public Inquiry where I welcome the opportunity to give my evidence in due course.

“Animal Rights extremists are notorious for the intimidation and bullying of people they disagree with. I am a democratically elected representative for the people of Fletton and Woodston and I will continue to fulfil my duties as a councillor to the best of my ability and to act on their behalf to resolve problems despite ongoing protests by the extremists.

Andy Coles

“I will not make any further public comment on my past police role at this time.”

The inquiry has also released an undercover officer manual which was written by Mr Coles.

Mr Coles (under the cover name Andy Davey) has been named by the inquiry as having been deployed between 1991 and 1995 in the:

. Animal Liberation Front

Protests against Andy Coles outside Peterborough Town Hall

. Animal Liberation Front Support Group

. London Boots Action Group/London Animal Action

. London Animal Rights Coalition

. Brixton Hunt Saboteurs.

The allegations against Mr Coles were first aired by Channel 4 last May.

The Conservative councillor was then subject to large protests inside and outside of the Town Hall with one Full Council meeting last July even postponed due to disruption caused by the protesters inside the public gallery, which has been closed ever since.

The rearranged meeting was then patrolled by private security guards - at a cost of £1,500 to the council - as well as by police.

“Jessica” has been made a ‘core participant’ in the inquiry.

The inquiry’s purpose is to investigate and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968.

The inquiry will examine the contribution undercover policing has made to tackling crime, how it was and is supervised and regulated, and its effect on individuals involved – both police officers and others who came into contact with them.