In Brief

Plebgate officer 'boasted of toppling the Tory government'

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell wants Scotland Yard to release the details of internal investigation

A police officer at the centre of the "Plebgate" row boasted to a friend that he could "topple the Tory Government", former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell has claimed.

Scotland Yard's internal disciplinary hearings into the conduct of seven officers allegedly involved in the incident came to an end yesterday, and Mitchell, who attended the hearings, now wants the force to release the full details of its investigation.

The MP believes some of the evidence lends credence to his claims that he was the victim of a political conspiracy by police officers, says the Daily Telegraph.

This includes a text message, which came to light during the hearings, from one of the Downing Street officers to a friend claiming: "I can topple the Tory Government."

The message was sent just two days after police had refused to allow Mitchell to take his bicycle through the main gate at Downing Street. Words were exchanged and officers claimed the minister called them "f***ing plebs". Mitchell, who lost his position as chief whip over the incident, denies he ever used the word.

He now says the disciplinary hearings have produced evidence suggesting that officers were "colluding with the Police Federation to fan the flames for political reasons".

In a letter to Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, Mitchell wrote: "I am deeply concerned that if any of this information is withheld, and any hint of a cover-up is left in the public mind, a signal will be sent that the police can get away with doing this to people who would have no chance to fight back and public confidence will be yet further undermined."

Scotland Yard has said it has already sought legal advice as to what information it is possible to publish from the hearings, which are considered private under statutory regulations.

Three officers have been dismissed and four are awaiting the outcome. The Met is due to publish a report detailing its investigation and has said it will publish "summary reports" from the chair of the gross misconduct boards.

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