Lush 'spycops' campaign returns to shops across the UK

The campaign angered Home Secretary Sajid Javid
The campaign angered Home Secretary Sajid Javid

A controversial campaign criticising undercover policing methods has returned to high street cosmetics chain Lush.

Window displays featuring posters bearing the slogan "Paid to Lie" were taken down following a barrage of criticism.

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A Lush spokeswoman confirmed the displays have returned to the company's shops across the UK on Wednesday, but said the controversial image has been replaced.

The campaign angered Home Secretary Sajid Javid, while the Police Federation called it "an insult to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of police officers throughout the UK".

But campaigners from the Police Spies Out Of Lives group which was behind it said some people had misinterpreted the imagery designed to highlight the "spycops scandal" - where undercover officers initiated long-term, sexual relationships with their targets.

One, known as "Alison", said: "While I accept that those members of the public with no knowledge or understanding of the wrongdoing perpetrated by these units may have initially misread the central campaign image, I do not believe this is true of the Home Secretary.

"He understands exactly what this campaign is about. He knows exactly what we're asking of him, and, instead of responding to requests to discuss our concerns, he ignores us and rubs salt into our wounds by attempting to de-legitimise our campaign aims."

Campaigners say they hope to convince Mr Javid to take action in relation to the public inquiry into undercover policing, which is investigating covert operations carried out by police forces in England and Wales since 1968.

There has been growing discontent among non-police or state participants, who have criticised the chairman of the inquiry, Judge Sir John Mitting, 70, and his decisions to grant former undercover officers anonymity.

A statement from Police Spies Out Of Lives said: "We're very happy that this campaign has drawn so much attention at all - we have been fighting for years to raise public awareness, and Lush has certainly helped to catapult the issue into the public consciousness in a way that we have never achieved by ourselves."