'Plebgate shows police dishonesty'

Ex-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell  resigned over the so-called Plebgate affair

Ex-Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell resigned over the so-called Plebgate affair

First published in National News © by

A Scotland Yard report on the "plebgate" saga shows "industrial levels of dishonesty by police working in Downing Street", an MP has claimed.

The force has published a series of documents summarising its inquiry into the aftermath of the confrontation, called Operation Alice, which has seen four police officers sacked.

It also released CCTV footage, previously unseen by the public, of the foul-mouthed disagreement between police officer Toby Rowland and then Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in Downing Street in 2012.

The pair gave contradicting accounts of what was said in a conversation that lasted little over 10 seconds, and was the start of an ongoing dispute between the politician and the police after Mr Mitchell resigned from his post.

Today MP David Davis, a staunch supporter of Mr Mitchell, said: "Although the Operation Alice closing report is a police report into the police, it nevertheless shows industrial levels of dishonesty by police working in Downing Street.

"One police officer has been jailed. Three more police officers have been sacked and a further two police officers have received final written warnings."

Mr Rowland, who was one of four officers manning the Downing Street gate that night, claimed Mr Mitchell said: ''You should know your f****** place, you don't run this f****** Government, you're f****** plebs'' after he was refused permission to cycle out.

However, the MP insisted he said: ''I thought you guys were supposed to f****** help us''.

Mr Mitchell is suing the Sun over its coverage of what happened that night, and said he wants Mr Rowland to give evidence on oath; while the police officer is suing Mr Mitchell over their differing accounts.

The documents released by Scotland Yard today include a report summarising the force's investigation into the incident and its aftermath, as well as findings relating to internal misconduct proceedings.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, who led the inquiry, said: "We understand the public interest in this case, which is why we have taken the unusual step of publishing this material.

"We have not been in a position to do this before due to the criminal and disciplinary processes that had to take place, and the detail of our report was relevant to those hearings.

"At the heart of this investigation were very serious allegations that police officers had conspired together to lie and falsify statements against a Cabinet Minister. I have no doubt these allegations have damaged public trust and confidence in us.

"The police service is here to serve the public, without fear or favour, with honesty and integrity. Where our staff fall short of those standards they must be held to account. We wanted these discipline boards to be held in public, but legally we were unable to direct that this happened.

"Ultimately four police officers have been dismissed from the MPS, one of whom was sent to prison. Every serving police officer has cause to feel let down by those colleagues who fall below the standards we all strive to uphold".

Scotland Yard bosses said that they had wanted to hold the misconduct hearings in public, but were unable to do so unless instructed by the IPCC.

The officers who were sacked are Pc Keith Wallis, who was jailed and dismissed for emailing his MP pretending to have witnessed the confrontation, while Pc James Glanville was sacked after he leaked information to the Sun newspaper.

Pc Susan Johnson lost her job after she exchanged text messages and a phone call with Glanville around the time he contacted the tabloid, and for failing to report that Wallis had sent her a copy of his email.

Pc Gillian Weatherley, who was on duty on the day of the confrontation between Mr Mitchell and Pc Toby Rowland, was sacked at the end of April over leaks to the press.

She sent a photograph of an email Mr Rowland had sent to his bosses about the row to Glanville.

Another two officers were given final written warnings in relation to statements they provided to the investigation team or inappropriate comments.

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