‘Spooks’ mystery revisited
10 January, 2019 — By John Gulliver
Cllr Abdul Hai
WHY did two members of the government’s anti-terrorism Prevent team – based at the Town Hall – attend the public meeting on Palestine and Zionism which I wrote about last September?
The mystery has surfaced again this week because a political group is seeking to present a petition at a council meeting on January 21 for it to be cleared up.
At the time, I was the only journalist at the meeting in the small hall in King’s Cross where a speaker representing the organisers, the Revolutionary Communist Group, announced that there were two Prevent members sitting at the back of the hall. All eyes turned to them, tensions rose, but the meeting passed off fairly peaceably.
As it turned out, the two “spooks” were sitting next to me.
I asked one of them a few questions but, naturally, he side-stepped them.
The RCG have written to me asking me to support their petition.
Apart from anything else, the fact remains that when I checked at the time with councillor Abdul Hai, who is responsible for the Prevent department at the Town Hall, he told me, in an email, that the two people sitting next to me had attended on a “personal basis”.
In other words, they had not been sent by the council. Of course, Cllr Hai may have been putting the glossiest spin on events but I would assume that officially they had gone in some sort of “freelance” capacity.
There is, admittedly, a mystery about the Sunday evening meeting and a debate might help to clear it up.
But until the facts are known one cannot say the two spooks had been sent by the Prevent department – or that they were there in some kind of official capacity.