Is anyone in the UK or knowledge of UK laws able to help me with this scenario
‘I have been suspended from work and I want to secretly record the meeting on a hidden handheld device, The meeting is a formal meeting into the investigation of why I have been suspended and will be carried out under the strictest confidence, Am i able to use the hidden device for my own purposes to then type out the transcript afterwards’
I doubt whether you are in breach of any law but you are breaking a confidence. The material you collect this way is unlikely to be admissable in any future proceedings and thus would be of little use.
It is normal under most company disciplinary proceedures to be able to take someone to such a meeting with you. They and you can take all the notes you want and it is usually the case that a summary of the meeting is sent to you in writing shortly after. It is also normal that you should learn nothing new at such a meeting, protocols should be in place for warnings to have been issued before it comes to a disciplinary hearing.
I write this not as a lawyer but I was a union rep for some years. Where I worked a surprising number of disciplinary actions failed through management not following their own rules. That said it was a well-run place in that they had clear rules which they honoured. Your employer may not be so good.
I disagree that it would be of little use. Even if he never reveals that he recorded the meeting or shares the content of the meeting, it will be useful for HIM to know exactly what happened, who said what to whom about what, and all that sort of detail. One’s memory of a meeting like that would be very fuzzy indeed, and I’d want to be able to go back and clarify for my own sanity.
The fact that it wouldn’t be useful in any proceedings, to me, is irrelevant.
I know of two cases where someone at the meeting accidentally let the real reason for the firing slip (in both cases it was because “you are <fill in protected class> and we would rather have <different protected class>”) and later deny it was ever said … until the recording was produced as evidence in a lawsuit.