Revealed: Police officer Bob Lambert helped to write the leaflet that caused McLibel
Undercover infiltrator was the co-author of defamatory pamphlet about US fast-food giant
An undercover police officer who famously infiltrated the anarchist movement London Greenpeace also helped to write the anti-McDonald’s leaflet which led to the David-versus-Goliath “McLibel” trial, it emerged.
A new book about undercover policing reveals that Bob Lambert, who used the name Bob Robinson during his five years at London Greenpeace, which is not affiliated with the Greenpeace environmental movement, was the co-author of the libellous leaflet.
In the 1990s, McDonald’s sued a group of activists for distributing a pamphlet critical of the US fast-food giant and its ethical standards. Although the company won the trial, its reputation and balance sheet were harmed. It spent an estimated £10m on the three-year case – while the defendants received pro-bono assistance from a sympathetic barrister – and it never collected the £40,000 the judge ruled that it was due.
Mr Lambert’s involvement in the case was known only to a few people until now and gives a further twist to two stories that have captured the public imagination – his own and the McLibel trial.
He was one of about five authors who wrote the defamatory, roughly typed leaflet over several months in 1986. It was only after his covert
deployment ended in 1989 that McDonald’s decided to take action – even though London Greenpeace could only afford to distribute a few hundred copies.
The six-page leaflet made a wide range of accusations of McDonald’s, accusing it of destroying the environment, exploiting workers and selling junk food. One anonymous close friend from the time said Mr Lambert was really proud of his leaflet. “It was like his baby, he carried it round with him,” he told The Guardian, which has seen extracts from the book.
The Metropolitan Police said: “[The force] recognises the seriousness of the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and practices involving past undercover deployments. At some point it will fall upon this generation of police leaders to account for the activities of our predecessors, but for the moment we must concentrate on getting to the truth.”
A review and investigation into these matters – Operation Herne – is being overseen by Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon. Mr Lambert is under investigation for sexual relationships with four women while undercover, fathering a child with one of them before he left in 1989.
Mr Lambert declined to comment about his role in the production of the McLibel leaflet. However, he previously offered a general apology for deceiving “law-abiding members of London Greenpeace”, which he said was a peaceful campaign group. His role in the McLibel leaflet is exposed in Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, out next week.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
The sound of Goodfellas mafioso Frankie Carbone demanding $250m in “damages” would be chilling enough on film, let alone in real life.
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...
£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...
£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...