Police name officers in undercover sex claim case.
The Metropolitan Police has revealed the names of two men who had sexual relationships with women while working as undercover officers.
It had been policy neither to confirm or deny who undercover officers are.
The pair – named by the force as Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert – are accused of deceiving the women by having relationships with them without disclosing who they really were.
The Met is being sued by three women over the issue but denies wrongdoing.
The force argues that the relationships were based on “genuine” feelings.
Historically to protect the safety of undercover officers it has been police policy neither to confirm nor deny who they are under any circumstances.
But last month Mr Justice Bean at the High Court ruled that Scotland Yard could no longer rely on this in the cases of Mr Boyling and Mr Lambert, and, for the first time in its history, the force has now confirmed they did work undercover.
The Met Police said Mr Boyling – whose alias was known as Jim Sutton, a political activist in the 1980s – had relationships with two women in the late 1990s, while deployed covertly.
He later married one of the women and had two children with her.
Mr Lambert – whose alias was also a political activist under the name of Bob Robinson – had a relationship in the 1980s with a woman he met at an animal rights party, also while he was undercover.
According to legal documents, seen by BBC News, the force denies the women were “deceived” and says the relationships occurred because of “mutual attraction and genuine personal feelings”.
Scotland Yard says it did not authorise the relationships or “tacitly acquiesce” in them, and it denies they were started as a “deliberate tactic”.
Harriet Wistrich, a solicitor for the women in this case, said the naming of the officers represented a “partial victory”.
In a statement, she said: “The police have been pulled kicking and screaming to this first extremely significant development in the litigation brought by the women in their long battle for justice and accountability.”
A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Our defence is in line with the ruling given by Mr Justice Bean.
“The force’s position, which we have repeated a number of times, is that long term sexual relationships between an undercover officer and a member of the public is and has never been an authorised tactic.”