Met Police boss pauses holiday over ‘plebgate’ row

10:21 23 December 2012

Bernard Hogan-Howe has broken off his holiday. File picture: PA Wire

Bernard Hogan-Howe has broken off his holiday. File picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has broken off from his holiday to be briefed on the progress of the investigation into the Andrew Mitchell Downing Street row.

The former Chief Whip has spoken out in today’s Sunday newspapers in an effort to clear his name and pave the way for a return to the Government’s ranks two months after being forced out.

“These awful toxic phrases which were hung round my neck for weeks and weeks in a sustained attempt to toxify the Conservative Party and destroy my career were completely and totally untrue,” he said.

And he expressed incredulity at the latest developments in the case, which have led to the arrest of one officer from the diplomatic protection squad and another man from outside the force.

“If you had told me on September 19 (the day of the altercation) that the events revealed last week could take place in Britain today, I simply would not have believed you.”

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, yesterday said it planned an independent review into “issues” with its operations.

Downing Street meanwhile insisted Prime Minister David Cameron stood behind his Cabinet colleague for as long as he could amid criticism from some allies of Mr Mitchell.

Number 10 issued a statement after newspapers quoted members of the Mitchell camp claiming he had been left “swinging in the wind” by the premier who they say failed to act on CCTV evidence that cast doubt on the police account.

“The Prime Minister has deep sympathy for Andrew Mitchell after allegations emerged that a serving police officer fabricated evidence against him,” it said.

On Thursday, police arrested and questioned a 23-year-old man, who is not a police officer or member of police staff, on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offence on December 14.

That date was a day before a member of the diplomatic protection group was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office related to an email sent to his local MP, John Randall, the deputy chief whip.

Mr Hogan-Howe said subsequent to the arrests that he had seen nothing that “really affected the original account of the officers at the scene”.

He will be grilled on the case when he appears before MPs on the Commons home affairs committee next month in a pre-scheduled hearing.

Scotland Yard said: “The Commissioner has broken off from his holiday for a short period because of his concern for the welfare of all the officers and their families involved in the events surrounding the Downing Street incident.

He will also take the opportunity to be briefed on any developments with the investigation, which the MPS is progressing with urgency, whilst maintaining an open mind and a determination to leave no stone unturned.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London politics news

Friday, November 27, 2015
The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is placed into special measures (Picture: PA Images)

Health watchdog CQC has said the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust should be placed into special measures as it is ‘performing poorly’ and has been rated ‘inadequate’.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Aerial view of proposed Rotherhithe Bridge [image: reForm Architects]

Plans to build a new bridge across the Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe on either side have reached completion in a new feasibility study.

The proposed ‘Rotherhithe Bridge’ would have the longest bascule span in the world, at 600ft (184m), for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Plane Stupid protesters blocked the tunnel leading into Heathrow Airport (Picture: Plane Stupid)

Plane Stupid climate change activists have blocked the inbound tunnel to Heathrow in a protest against airport expansion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Junior doctors held a massive protest in London last month over the contracts and now plan to strike for three days in December (Picture: Naomi Ackerman/ London24)

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today agreed to negotiate the junior doctor contract with the British Medical Association (BMA) in talks held by conciliatory service Acas, but the BMA say his consenting so late is ‘political game playing’.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Holloway Prison. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA

Holloway Prison is to close, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
A Londoner hoping for a fun family day at Winter Wonderland was charged £3,731 for parking (Picture: Manish Wadhwani/ NCP)

A great £5 parking deal in Portland Square turned into a nightmare for one family when the dad was charged £3,731 instead, maxing out his credit card and leaving him to borrow money from his sister.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Latest Tech News