Jenny Jones, the only Green Party peer and former London Mayoral Candidate, is on a police list of potential “domestic extremists”, according to the Guardian.
Files show the police tracked her over an 11-year period, including during her bid for the London mayoralty. They gathered data including a tweet she sent about possible police tactics at a pro-cycling rally and details of various public meetings she addressed on issues such as police violence.
Scotland Yard’s domestic extremist unit monitors thousands of political activists in order to identify those who may potentially turn to violence, keeping their details on a large database. They started monitoring Jones shortly after she was first elected to office in 2000, and were still monitoring her when she ran for London Mayor in 2012.
The list has attracted controversy as it includes a large number of people who have never committed any crime.
The Metropolitan Police told the Guardian that the database is maintained according to a code of practice, adding that it had deleted a large number of files on individuals after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary told them there was no justification for keeping some records.
Jones maintains that the monitoring was unjustified as she has never been arrested, and all the information on her relates to her work as an elected politician. The Metropolitan Police have refused to say how many other elected officials are on their records.
The peer, who sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Jones of Mouslecoomb, discovered the police records after submitting a request under data protection laws. She found that she and a fellow Green Party activist, Ian Driver, were on the police extremist list.
Driver, who is a councillor in Thanet, Kent, said that any demonstrations he organised were “peaceful and lawful”, adding that, like Jones, he has never been “involved in planning, carrying out or supporting any illegal activities”.
“I am very upset and annoyed that I appear to have been spied upon for two years by the police when there was no good reason to do so,” he added.
Members of the left have been involved in reported violent clashes recently, especially around UKIP events.
Following weeks of smears against the party by the mainstream media, the far left intensified their protests against UKIP, to the extent that anti-racism campaigner Doreen Lawrence disassociated herself from ‘anti-fascist’ group Unite Against Fascism after it was accused of violence against Nigel Farage.