Former undercover policeman Peter Francis has said he is looking forward to appearing in person at the official inquiry into undercover policing

A former SDS undercover Metropolitan Police Officer and now Police whistleblower has welcomed the announcement by the Home Secretary of the official remit of an inquiry into undercover policing.

Peter Francis, said he’d be happy to speak openly and under oath to the inquiry which will be led by Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Pitchford.

The inquiry will look into the infiltration of political and social justice campaigns in England and Wales since 1968 by undercover police.

Ms May announced that the inquiry will be able to access documents and call witnesses to give oral and written evidence to draw up a report for publication within three years' time, which will include recommendations on the future use of covert policing.

Mr Francis said:

"With the Public Inquiry terms of reference finally announced today by the Home Secretary, I look forward to appearing in person before The Rt Hon Lord Justice Pitchford.

"I want to speak openly, under oath, not hidden behind a screen and without the fear of being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act, about my time as an undercover policeman so people can learn the truth about the SDS' work and its practices.

"I fully support Lady Lawrence's call for my fellow former undercover SDS Officers and SDS Police Managers to appear before the Inquiry too, voluntarily or indeed otherwise, and in the open.

Mr Francis, who is represented by Rosa Curling from the law firm Leigh Day, continued:

"I hope this Inquiry will finally provide some sort of closure not only for the Lawrence family themselves but also for the many law abiding individuals and families whose lives have been so badly affected and damaged by undercover policing.

"It is critical that those who were spied on are given access to the information held about them by the Police, their Special Branch files and the information held on the secret databases in particular, before the Inquiry begins.”