| Tony Robinson |
(policeman, spook, whistleblower)
|Exposed|| • MI5|
Lancashire Police Special branch 1965-1981. He was responsible for vetting workers at the Ford Halewood plant. He has spoken to TV about interference in Police business by MI5.
Tony Robinson is a former Special Branch officer. He gave a "remarkably candid interview" to the BBC which was broadcast in 2002. He describes carrying out weekly political vetting of Ford's employees for MI5.
Vetting of employees
Tony Robinson has suggested that Ford only agreed to invest in the giant manufacturing plant at Halewood on Merseyside because of a suspected secret deal with MI5 and the UK Special Branch that the entire workforce would be routinely vetted for political subversives.
Reporting on his orders to the BBC, Tony Robinson stated "My senior officer said: 'One of your responsibilities, Tony, is to make certain that the Ford factory is kept clean of subversives. And part of the plan drawn up was to make certain that work would carry on smoothly at Ford without the expected Merseyside disease of strikes and layoffs."
He told the programme that every week Ford would secretly submit a list of the latest job applicants to the local Special Branch. "We were expected to check these lists against our known subversives, and if any were seen on the list then strike a line through it," he said. He added: "It was very, very important that the unions were monitored, and I, as a Special Branch officer, make no apologies for doing it as efficiently as I could. We're talking about thousands and thousands of families dependent on continued employment... you have a small group of subversives who can bring that factory to a stop, then I think the ends justify the means."
Summing up his work, Robinson said "I suppose the whole business of being a Special Branch Officer in many instances is based on lies, on deception or you can't do your job."
In the late 1960s Lancashire police carried out several investigations into Cyril Smith's sexual behaviour with juveniles, compiling an 80-page file, and may have been ready to prosecute. Tony Robinson told Dispatches that he found the file in a safe at police headquarters in Lancashire. He claimed he took a call in 1977 from ‘Box 500’, the police codeword for MI5, requesting the file be sent to them in London by special courier.