Charlie Lindlar Headshot

Andrew Mitchell To Give 'Face-To-Face' Account Of 'Pleb' Row To Police Federation

Posted: Updated:

Andrew Mitchell will be asked to give a "face-to-face account" of his expletive-ridden row with Downing Street police when he meets members of the West Midlands branch of the Police Federation on 12 October, the branch's chair has said.

Ian Edwards told The Huffington Post UK that the chief whip has agreed to meet members of the body that represents police officers shortly after the Conservative conference in Birmingham to discuss the incident.

Mitchell has admitted to swearing multiple times at officers who would not let him through main gates on his bicycle, but claims he did not call them "plebs", as one officer noted in their police log.

Edwards explained that after obtaining feedback from the three member forces of his branch, many "insisted" that the Federation meet with the chief whip over the row.

andrew mitchell

Andrew Mitchell will meet the Police Federation shortly after the conference

Edwards said that during the meeting Mitchell will be asked to answer two key questions: Exactly what was said during the row, and what Mitchell has to say to the branch's officers who are "very upset by him saying the officers' accounts aren't true".

Edwards told HuffPost UK that although he knows Mitchell has apologised for the incident, "there's nothing like getting a face-to-face account" of how Mitchell believes the altercation went.

While the Federation has said it wants to resolve the incident, Edwards concedes that "it might be that we can't agree a middle ground".

Mitchell, who said the 19 September incident had been "blown out of all proportion" in an interview with the Sutton Coldfield Observer, had previously said he sought to "draw a line" under the incident with an apology.

ian edwards police federation

Ian Edwards, the chair of the Police Federation in the West Midlands, will meet with Mitchell

According to the police log filed by the female officer involved in the incident, Mitchell asked the officers to open the main gates to him through on his bicycle, which the officers said was against policy, instead offering the pedestrian gate to the side.

Mitchell argued he should be allowed through the main gate but the officer reported that: "after several refusals Mr Mitchell got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him."

The officer records Mitchell as then saying: "Best you learn your f******* place... you don't run this f****** government... You're f****** plebs," which the chief whip has firmly denied.

The officer warned Mitchell that she would have to arrest him under the Public Order Act should he continue swearing, an act which London Mayor Boris Johnson has since praised as "wholly right", at which point Mitchell rode away, saying: "You haven't heard the last of this."

west midlands police protest

Protests were held outside Mitchell's Sutton Coldfield constituency office

At the Labour conference in Manchester, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said of Mitchell: "We said the police were public servants. He thought we just meant they were his servants.

"When they asked him to use the side gate he thought they were saying he should use the tradesman’s entrance.

"It really comes to something when the prime minister and the government chief whip end up being reprimanded for their lack of respect by a fellow member of the Bullingdon Club."

She added: "Once again it’s one rule for the Cabinet, another for the plebs. So out of touch they aren’t fit to govern.

"So come on Conference, let’s bring on the plebiscite. Plebs of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but this government."