Plebgate timeline: from Downing Street to IPCC report
Police watchdog questions 'honesty and integrity' of Police Federation reps in wake of Plebgate
THE "honesty and integrity" of three police officers who met former government whip Andrew Mitchell in the wake of the Downing Street 'Plebgate' scandal has been called into question by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The watchdog says the three Police Federation reps, who met with Mitchell in an attempt to resolve the row that blew up after he was accused of insulting other officers, should face an inquiry into claims they lied to media in a deliberate attempt to discredit the Tory MP. Here is what has happened in the scandal so far...
19 September 2012
Andrew Mitchell, with his bike, attempts to leave Downing Street through a main gate but is told by police officers to use the pedestrian side gate. The officer on duty claims in a police log that Mitchell had said to them: "Best you learn your f****** place... you're f****** plebs."
Deputy chief whip John Randall receives an email from a supposed constituent who claims he and his nephew heard the incident. It appears to offer independent corroboration of the version of events in the police log.
The story is revealed in The Sun. Mitchell later admits swearing but denies using the word "plebs".
The police log is published in the Daily Telegraph. Scotland Yard confirms it will investigate the leak.
Mitchell meets with Police Federation representatives from Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands at his constituency office in Sutton Coldfield to draw a line under the Plebgate row. The reps subsequently tell journalists that Mitchell refused to elaborate on what happened and call on him to resign.
Mitchell quits as chief whip.
A Metropolitan Police officer becomes the first to be arrested in the case. He was detained on suspicion of misconduct in a public office after Scotland Yard received information about information allegedly leaked to the press about Plebgate. He was not on duty at the time of the incident.
CCTV footage of the incident on Downing Street, obtained by Channel 4 News and Dispatches, casts doubt on the claims made in the police log book and the email from the "civilian witness". Both described several members of public outside the main gate, but this is not verified by the CCTV.
Scotland Yard announces that it has opened an investigation, named Operation Alice, into whether there had been a police-orchestrated conspiracy to end Mitchell's career. The man behind the email to Randall turns out to be a serving police officer who admits he was not at the scene.
It emerges that the three Police Federation reps are under investigation. Mitchell accuses the police of a continued campaign to destroy his career.
Almost a year on, eight people have been arrested and bailed, including five police officers, as part of the criminal investigation, which has already cost more than £230,000.
IPCC questions the "honesty and integrity" of the three Federation reps who met with Mitchell on 12 October 2012. An internal police investigation into their conduct concludes that "while the federation representatives' comments to the media could be viewed as ambiguous or misleading, there was no deliberate intention to lie". The IPCC says it disagrees. However, Mitchell has not made a formal complaint and, as the IPCC chose only to supervise the case rather than manage it or run an independent investigation, it does not have the power to direct the police forces to carry out misconduct proceedings. ·