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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Bulu Mata is an orphaned baby orangutan who’s just moved to his new home in Dorset.

Read more

People are paying tribute after the rock and blues legend Joe Cocker has passed away.

Read more

After a bin lorry lost control in the heart of Glasgow today, Police Scotland have confirmed six people have died.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

People are paying tribute after the rock and blues legend Joe Cocker has passed away.

After a bin lorry lost control in the heart of Glasgow today, Police Scotland have confirmed six people have died.

‘Fromage’ kicks immigrants off the White Cliffs of Dover in the Ukik phone app.

The world seems to agree: no matter how tasteless this new film, censoring freedom of speech with cyber threats is probably worse.

TOP Stories

16:21
Pensioner Geoffrey Lederman ploughed into mother Desreen Brooks at 54mph(Google Street View)

An 85-year-old from Maida Vale who ploughed his car into a mother at 54mph, killing her in front of her husband and toddler has been jailed for 18 months.

15:01
Jason Oparaocha has been jailed for nine months

A Harlesden man who attacked two city workers when one of them tried to chat up his friend will spend Christmas in jail.

Officers would like to speak to this man (Pic credit: Brent Police)

Police have released the image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a pub fight in Neasden which has left a peacemaker in a coma.

London Bloggers

Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.