Environmentalism

Leaflet at Heart of McDonald's Libel Case in England Written by Police Spy

Went undercover as environmental activist and embroiled group in massive lawsuit

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An undercover police officer posing for years as an environmental activist co-wrote a libellous leaflet that was highly critical of McDonald's, and which led to the longest civil trial in English history, costing the fast-food giant millions of pounds in fees.

The true identity of one of the authors of the "McLibel leaflet" is Bob Lambert, a police officer who used the alias Bob Robinson in his five years infiltrating the London Greenpeace group , is revealed in a new book about undercover policing of protest, published next week.

McDonald's famously sued two penniless green campaigners over the roughly typed leaflet, in a landmark three-year high court case, that was widely believed to have been a public relations disaster for the corporation. Ultimately the company won the libel battle it need never have fought, having spent expensively on lawyers.