Rob Evans and Paul Lewis

October 20, 2011

Police chiefs are facing pressure to explain the growing scandal in undercover policing of protest groups after the former director of public prosecutions said they had made a “monumental misjudgment” that could result in a host of miscarriages of justice.

A major inquiry into the use of police spies in the protest movement was thrown into chaos late on Wednesday after the Guardian revealed damaging allegations that police officers had authorised their undercover agents to give false evidence in court.

The government’s official police inspectorate cancelled the planned publication of a report by Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new Metropolitan police commissioner, into the use of police spies. It had been due to be unveiled on Thursday morning.

The announcement came just hours after the Guardian revealed it had obtained documents showing an undercover officer had concealed his identity from a court when he was prosecuted alongside a group of protesters for occupying a government office.

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