In the Media

Met Commissioner backs officers in 'plebgate'

PUBLISHED November 21, 2012

Controversy erupted in September when the Government's Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell swore at two police officers in Downing Street after they refused to open the main gate forcing him to dismount from his bicycle.

It was also claimed that he had branded the officers "plebs" warning them that they did not run the Government.

Mr Mitchell admitted swearing at the police officers, but despite resigning from his job, persistently denied ever having used the word "plebs".

But speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Mr Hogan-Howe today insisted he was "100 per cent" behind the officers' account saying they had "no reason to lie".

He told Victoria Derbyshire: "I am 100 per cent behind the officers. They accurately reported what happened."

He added: "All the evidence I saw led me to think it was accurate. I believe my officers. They had no reason to lie."

In his letter of resignation Mr Mitchell admitted he had been unprofessional in his conduct but maintained he had not used the word "pleb" in the exchange.

He wrote: "I did not, never have and never would call a police officer a 'pleb' or a 'moron' or used any of the other pejorative descriptions attributed to me.

"The offending comment and the reason for my apology was my parting remark, 'I thought you guys were supposed to ****** help us'.

"It was obviously wrong of me to use such bad language and I am very sorry about it."

Sir George Young, 71, the former Leader of the Commons was appointed Chief Whip to replace him.