The Police have dropped an attempt to block legal action by women who were duped into having relationships with undercover officers.
The Metropolitan Police conceded that the move was neither “appropriate or proportionate”.
The officers worked for the covert Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) that infiltrated political campaigners for decades.
Lawyers for the Met were due to go to the High Court this week to argue that the police would have been unable to defend themselves against the women’s legal action.
The women called on Scotland Yard to “stop prevaricating and acknowledge the harm done by the officers”.
They criticised the Met’s policy as a “shield to prevent any illegal and immoral activities by the police from ever coming to light”.
The women have also attacked the government’s failure to ban the cops from doing the same again.
The new code says that intrusion into someone’s “private or family life”, even when they are not direct targets of surveillance, should be justified by the information that might be discovered.