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Criminal investigation into university lecturer's past as police spy


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A lecturer in International Relations may face criminal charges for actions during his time as an undercover police officer.

St AndrewsDr Robert Lambert, a lecturer at the University of St Andrews, has admitted to using the identity of a dead child, lying in court, having sexual relations with four women and even having a child with one of them all to maintain his cover.

He now faces potential charges of perjury under Operation Herne, the large scale police investigation into misconduct amongst undercover officers.

In 1984, Dr Lambert took on the identity of “Bob Robinson”, a child that had died of a heart defect in 1959. According to Lambert this was routine for all undercover officers in his elite unit of the Metropolitan Police, the Special Demonstration Squad.

Dr Lambert was the first police officer to successfully infiltrate the activist group The Animal Liberation Front. In his four years there, he had sex with four women, and fathered a child upon one of them – despite his wife and children back home. None of the women knew of his real identity. The mother of his undercover child recently said her experience amounted to being “raped by the state”.

Allegations that Dr Lambert was a former police spy first came to light in 2011, when he was called out by former London Greenpeace activists, one of the groups he had infiltrated.

The most recent revelations came from an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News, in which he stated “I became too immersed in my alter ego, Bob Robinson”.

This immersion led to him maintaining his false identity throughout numerous arrests, including a court appearance in 1986 for a minor public order offence. It remains to be seen whether this deception will lead to a charge of perjury.

Despite admitting to the above actions, as well as co-writing the “Mclibel” leaflet that led to one of the longest libel battles in British history, he strenuously denies claims that he was part of a smear campaign against the family of Stephen Lawrence, and also denies that he firebombed a Debenhams store in 1987.

St Andrews University, which had previously stated that they were aware of Lambert’s past and that he had their support, have not commented on the latest revelations.

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