openDemocracy revealed that environmental campaigners were ‘spied on’ ahead of a London mayor event at the O2 arena

Video footage obtained by openDemocracy shows a plain-clothes security official at the entrance calling out the campaigners’ names as they approach, but refuses to tell them who he is working for. Another clip also shows an O2 security guard admitting he had received “intelligence” about the green campaigners.

Activists in the group said they had wanted to ask London Mayor Sadiq Khan questions about plans for the Silvertown Tunnel, a new toll road under the River Thames. One told openDemocracy she felt as though she had been spied on when she was identified at the O2, while others worried that the group’s communications may have been infiltrated.

The investigation was achieved through a combination of interviewing campaigners, obtaining video footage, sending freedom of information requests and data protection requests, which showed how information about campaigners was shared between Khan’s Greater London Authority, the O2 and another company which was a “security services provider” for the O2.

Team members

Jenna Corderoy

Jenna Corderoy is a reporter for openDemocracy’s investigations team.

Jenna Corderoy

Kenneth Foxe

Ken Foxe is a writer, researcher, trainer and transparency advocate based in Ireland.

Ken Foxe

Lucas Admin

Lucas Admin is an investigative journalist and reporter for openDemocracy investigations. He is based in London.

Lucas Admin


openDemocracy is an independent international media platform.

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