20/05/2014 17:13 BST | Updated 20/05/2014 17:59 BST

Plebgate Row: Mitchell Claims Policewoman Boasted To Friend She Could Bring Down Government


A policewoman involved in the infamous Plebgate row on Downing Street between officers and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell boasted to a friend that she could bring down the Government, the Conservative MP has claimed. Mitchell said full disclosure of Metropolitan Police gross misconduct hearings will show the woman texted a friend two days after the altercation saying: "I can topple the Tory Government".

In a letter to Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe demanding publication of transcripts of the hearings, Mitchell claimed an officer involved sent a message saying "the Fed need our help", a possible reference to a dispute between the Police Federation and the Government. Mitchell said full disclosure of the misconduct hearings would also show that other officers lied about the confrontation, despite what the MP called "police leaks" claiming otherwise.

Scotland Yard said it would not release the transcripts as a verdict has not been reached in two cases, one of which is part heard, adding that misconduct hearings are legally private. A Met spokesman said a report detailing the investigation into the row will be published "in due course".

In his letter, Mitchell asked for full transcripts of the hearings, the publication of text messages and other communications between officers, and the release of further CCTV footage. He wrote: "Surely it must be right to release the CCTV and let the public and journalists draw their own conclusions from what it shows.

He continued: "I am deeply concerned that if any of this information is withheld, and any hint of a cover-up is left in the public mind, a signal will be sent that the police can get away with doing this to people who would have NO chance to fight back and public confidence will be yet further undermined."

Mitchell also wrote: "Confidence in the police has been badly damaged by the many revelations that have emerged mainly as a result of a journalist, rather than police, investigation of the affair and only a completely open and transparent account of what happened will remedy the damage done."

Jailed former officer Keith Wallis and Met colleagues James Glanville and Gillian Weatherley have so far been sacked over the affair. The only misconduct hearing the force has previously held in public is that of Pc Simon Harwood, who was sacked after the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson, when it was ordered to do so by police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A Met spokesman said: "We can confirm we have received a letter from Mr Mitchell today, Tuesday May 20. We have already sought legal advice as to what information it is possible to publish after the conclusion of the gross misconduct hearings.

"Statutory regulations govern police misconduct proceedings and state they are considered a private process.

"As such the information raised at misconduct hearings is treated as confidential. However, the MPS has already stated publicly that a report detailing the Operation Alice investigation will be published in due course. We also intend to publish the summary reports from the chair of the gross misconduct boards.

"Mr Mitchell is aware that we will inform him in advance of publication what will be released, and when. There are still outstanding gross misconduct hearings. To ensure that these important hearings are not jeopardised through abuse of process, we will not comment any further until they have concluded."