Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, and a core participant in the Mittings Inquiry into undercover policing has welcomed the unmasking of the true identity of former undercover police officer ‘Carlo Neri’.


Former BBC journalist Michael Gillard has revealed that ‘Carlo Neri’ was in actual fact police officer Carlo Soracchi.

Undercover police officer

‘Carlo Neri’ was an undercover police officer between 2001 and 2006 and during this time he infiltrated anti-fascist groups and the Socialist party. During his time undercover he was involved in sexual relationships with at least three women.

‘Neri’ posed as a locksmith and under this guise he changed the locks on the properties of many of the unsuspecting people he was spying on, allowing him and the police unfettered access to their homes.

Mittings Inquiry

The revelation about Soracchi, which has not been made officially, further underlines the growing concerns about the Mittings Inquiry into undercover policing. The inquiry should have already concluded but it has not yet even begun taking evidence and now will not conclude until at least 2023.

The inquiry is being directly hampered by Judge Mittings’ emphasis on protecting both the real names and often the cover names of the undercover police officers who were members of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and involved in undercover policing. This means that many activists are still not aware that they were spied upon.

Trade unionists spied upon

As part of the inquiry it has emerged that special branch has thousands of files on trade unionists who were spied on by undercover officers. Mittings has attempted to resist the publication of these files however the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) may force his hand.

Small step

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The final unmasking of Carlo Neri as Carlo Soracchi is an important but small step in uncovering the full truth behind this shocking scandal. No stone should be left unturned.

“Carlo Soracchi formed relationships with at least three unsuspecting women while he was undercover at the same time he was married with children. His actions waive his right to anonymity.

“It is essential that all the members of the SDS involved in undercover policing at the very least have cover names published so that the true scale of their actions can be discovered and that activists, including those who might have been tricked into relationships with them while they were undercover can finally learn the truth.”

Know the truth

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Everyone who was spied on by the SDS deserves to know the truth and to see their special branch files.

“Much of the information in these files is at best distorted and in many cases has been used to ruin people’s lives. For example there has been found to be clear links between the blacklisting scandal and the police.”

“If the inquiry is to be considered credible then the government needs to step in and ensure improvements. It is currently not even examining the actions of Spycops in Scotland. While the reliance on redacted documents and the number of key witnesses being allowed anonymity risks turning the entire process into a whitewash”.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.