The Report The Shrewsbury Pickets, Political Policing and the State was based on formerly secret files showing that a covert Whitehall unit supplied the makers of Red Under the Bed with a dossier about left-wing trade unionists.
The files come from the PM’s archive (PREM 15/2011) and were discovered in 2013 by Eileen Turnbull, the Shrewsbury 24 campaign’s researcher. After a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the files were released to the National Archives for public viewing.
At that time the Archive’s catalogue described the files as “Retained by Department under Section 3.4”. This is a reference to the Public Records Act 1958 which allows the Government to retain any documents it chooses, usually on the grounds of “national
The folder holding the files is called Woodrow Wyatt’s TV programme – Red Under the Bed – 13 November 1974–25 January 1974, and consists of Whitehall correspondence including that of the PM as well as further correspondence relating to the documentary.
A complete transcript of the programme is also disclosed.
It is of note that the files and its contents were a topic of debate in Parliament twice, first in January 2014 before they were released, and afterwards in December 2015. Those Parliamentary debates discussed and examined the interference of the documentary with the trial, and the involvement of the government unit.