A big week for the plebgate story as the row runs on

Three officers who met Mr Mitchell have apologised for their actions that day. Photo: Ruth Lumley/PA Wire

It's turning out to be a big week in the life of the story we call "plebgate".

We could - on any day - get a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service over whether to prosecute any of the eight people (including five serving police officers) arrested in connection with the notorious exchange between officers on the gates of Downing Street and the former Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell.

Central to that inquiry is whether officers fabricated their logs which claimed Mr Mitchell had called them plebs when they refused to allow him to pass through the main gates with his bicycle.

Now, three officers who met Mr Mitchell in his Sutton Coldfield constituency just before he was sacked from his job as government chief whip, have apologised for their actions that day.

Three officers who met Mr Mitchell have apologised for their actions that day. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Inspector Ken MacKaill of West Mercia Police, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton from Warwickshire Police and Sergeant Chris Jones from West Midlands Police - who were all representing the Police Federation - gave media interviews after their meeting with Andrew Mitchell.

They claimed he had refused to provide a detailed account of his row in Downing Street.

But a recording of the meeting showed that in fact Mr Mitchell had given a full account of what happened.

Today, the Police Federation - the union for rank and file officers - issued a statement on their behalf.

It read:

We acknowledge the investigation’s criticism relating to our poor judgement in talking to the media following the meeting with Andrew Mitchell, for which we take this opportunity to apologise. We would like to emphasise (as we did to the investigation) that in no way did any of us ever plan or intend to mislead anyone about what occurred during this meeting or otherwise.

Those three police officers are currently at the centre of an increasingly acrimonious row between their respective forces and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) - which supervised the inquiry into the meeting and what was said to the cameras immediately afterwards.

Both the IPCC and the chief constables of the forces involved will give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday.

The IPCC has drawn attention to the fact that the conclusion of the police report was changed between the draft and the final versions.

It should make for a fascinating session.

And none of it relates to the event which sparked the row and led to Andrew Mitchell's fall from office.

The "plebgate" story keeps on running.

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