“Proper answers” needed on plebgate affair, says Prime Minister

09:32 01 February 2013

Andrew Mitchell arriving at Downing Street, London. File picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Andrew Mitchell arriving at Downing Street, London. File picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron today said that a police probe into the “plebgate” affair must deliver “proper answers”, following an arrest of a Scotland Yard officer yesterday.

The 46-year-old officer from the Diplomatic Protection Group was held at his workplace in central London on suspicion of misconduct in public office.

The man was not present at the time of the spat between Mr Mitchell and officers on duty outside Downing Street last September, disputed details of which were subsequently leaked.

Speaking in Liberia, where he is attending a UN meeting on international development, Mr Cameron said: “There is an ongoing police investigation, so it wouldn’t be right for me to comment.

“All I would say is it is very important that this investigation is thoroughly carried out and proper answers are delivered.”

Three weeks ago Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that a file of evidence on the case could be handed to the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of this month.

However, the force said yesterday that “ongoing developments” had delayed an interim report.

Investigators have taken statements from all 800 officers in the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) as part of the inquiry.

Two other men have been arrested so far. A 52-year-old Pc who is also from the DPG was held on suspicion of misconduct in public office and bailed until a date in February.

A 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offence and also released on bail.

Four other constables in the unit, which is responsible for protecting government officials and diplomats, have been placed on restricted duty over misconduct claims.

Mr Mitchell has admitted swearing at police, but denied calling them “plebs”. He has claimed to be the victim of a deliberate attempt to “toxify” the Tories and ruin his career.

A report from the Commons Home Affairs Committee today suggested that the IPCC should be investigating the “plebgate” allegations.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether it should be investigating, the watchdog’s chair Dame Anne Owers said: “If we had been able to get involved at the right time, yes.”

But she said that the decision was taken not to launch an independent investigation because “there was already a police investigation under way”.

Related articles

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Oxford Street has been called the most polluted street in Britain (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Five major candidates for Mayor of London, including Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and Sian Berry, have said they would close Oxford Street to traffic.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first keynote speech on day three of the Labour Party annual conference. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak at a protest against postal cuts in Manchester today, as his rival party meets in the city for its conference.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Police ushered the Mayor into the conference as protesters heckled and jeered (Photo: Mark McGowan/YouTube)

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was pelted with plastic balls as he arrived at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today.

Friday, October 2, 2015
Zac Goldsmith will face Sadiq Khan in the battle for London in May 2016 (Picture: PA Images)

Environmentalist Richmond Park MP and Tory girls’ dreamboy Zac Goldsmith has been picked as the Conservative Party’s candidate for London Mayor, winning the contest with 70% of the vote. Here London24 brings you some of the funniest Twitter reactions to his selection.

Monday, September 28, 2015
View from Commercial Street of how Bishopsgate goodsyard development will look

A battle for the heart of east London has now switched to City Hall in a manoeuvre to get Boris Johnson to push through the controversial Bishopsgate goodsyard development before he steps down as Mayor of London next May.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Ed Palmer, 28, is part of a group trying to spread the message on social media that many 'junior doctors' are adults a way into their career (Picture: Whittington Whatsapp Group)

We spoke to some of London’s junior doctors - essentially any medic who isn’t a consultant - to find out how people are reacting inside the NHS to the government’s plan to make doctors ‘work longer hours for less money’.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more
You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Read more

Latest Tech News