UK

Plebgate Was 'Stitch-Up' Of Andrew Mitchell, Says Police Whistleblower

13/10/2013 09:14 BST | Updated 13/10/2013 16:34 BST
PA
File photo dated 17/05/2011 of Andrew Mitchell riding his bike. The Metropolitan Police's "rambling" investigation into the plebgate affair has been heavily criticised by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, almost a year after the incident.

The Cabinet minister at the centre of the "Plebgate" row was "stitched up" by police, an alleged whistleblower has said.

According to the Sunday Times, a senior officer described how evidence was doctored against Andrew Mitchell, the former chief whip who resigned from Cabinet over the accusation that he launched a foul-mouthed rant at officers guarding Downing Street as he asked to cycle through the main gates in September last year.

Pressure intensified after a police log of the incident was published in a national newspaper, which claimed Mitchell called officers ''plebs'' and swore at them repeatedly for making him walk through a side gate.

He insisted he did not use the words attributed to him, and later said he was the victim of a deliberate attempt to ''toxify'' the Tories and ruin his career.

In an article in the Sunday Times, the newspaper references an account of the alleged conspiracy against Mitchell.

The whistleblower stated: "On the 18th September, 2012 Mitchell had also insisted on being let out through the main gate. Following this [officer X] said to the other officers: 'Right, we can stitch him up'."

The whistleblower then went on to state that the word "plebs" was added by the named officer to the original police log of the conversation that Mitchell was said to have had with the officer who was guarding the gates on September 19, the newspaper added.

Mitchell has always denied using this "toxic" phrase, adding that it was the claim that he had used this word that forced him to tender his resignation.

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A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "This has been a lengthy and complex investigation involving the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

"Many lines of inquiry have been investigated and the final file is now with the Crown Prosecution Service who are considering all the evidence."

Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has already apologised to Mitchell if his confidence in the Plebgate police probe had been damaged.