The woman, who gave her name as Maria, phoned James O'Brien's programme on LBC Radio to launch a staunch defence of Simon Harwood, claiming he had only "pushed" Ian Tomlinson during the 2009 riots. You can listen to the whole call here.

She made her outspoken comments during a live radio discussion about the angry foul-mouthed tirade by Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative chief whip, at Downing Street police.

Ian Tomlinson, a father of nine, collapsed after being struck and pushed to the ground by Mr Harwood, from Carshalton, Surrey, and later died of internal injuries. An inquest ruled the vendor, who had a history of alcohol abuse, had been unlawfully killed but the former PC, 45, was acquitted of manslaughter by a jury at a criminal trial in July.

This week, he was sacked for gross misconduct after a Metropolitan Police disciplinary panel ruled his actions had brought the service into disrepute.

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