Britain's most senior police officer has promised a "ruthless" investigation into an alleged conspiracy against Andrew Mitchell "no matter where the truth takes us".
Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe defended his handling of the Andrew Mitchell "plebgate" row after breaking off from his holiday to be briefed on progress.
Mr Mitchell increased pressure on the force today when he claimed he was the victim of a deliberate attempt to "toxify" the Tories and ruin his career.
The former chief whip was forced to quit his Cabinet post amid a storm of protest - fuelled by the Police Federation - over claims he called officers "plebs" during an altercation in Downing Street.
But last week Scotland Yard opened an investigation into a possible conspiracy against the MP after it emerged an email from a civilian witness backing up the claims was in fact written by another officer.
Earlier today Mr Hogan-Howe broke off his Christmas holiday citing concerns about the welfare of the police officers involved in 'plebgate' and to be briefed on the progress of the 'plebgate' investigation, which is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.