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Cameron: Mitchell 'should move on' from 'Plebgate'

Former Cabinet minister and Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell must accept the verdict of the High Court on the "Plebgate" libel action and move on, David Cameron has said.

David Cameron was delivering a speech on immigration in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News

The Prime Minister insisted it was "never right to be abusive or rude" to a police officer and said the judge had "made very clear his verdict".

Mr Justice Mitting decided that the former chief whip did call Pc Toby Rowland a "pleb" because the officer did not have the "wit, imagination or inclination" to invent it.

Asked about the outcome of the case after he made a keynote speech in Staffordshire on immigration, Mr Cameron said: "On the issue of Andrew Mitchell, I mean, let me be clear - it is never right to be abusive or rude to a police officer. I think that is extremely important.

"But, look, we've had a court case now. That's how we do things in this country.

"The judge has made very clear his verdict and I think everyone should accept that verdict and move on."

Andrew Mitchell is the MP for Sutton Coldfield Credit: PA

Mr Justice Mitting said he had reached the "firm conclusion" that the 58-year-old MP used the "politically-toxic" word "pleb" in Downing Street in September 2012 when he was not allowed to cycle through the main vehicle gates.

Mr Mitchell, who resigned as whip a month after the altercation, vehemently denied this during his two-week libel action against News Group Newspapers.

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'Plebgate' PC: 'Pain' of High Court case 'indescribable'

The police officer at the centre of the Plebgate row has said the "pain" of going through the courts "has been indescribable" after a judge found in his favour over Andrew Mitchell.

Speaking outside the High Court, PC Toby Rowland said he had "huge regret" that "what happened at the gates of Downing Street more than two years ago ended up here".

PC Toby Rowland pointed out he had already been cleared of wrongdoing in the Plebgate incident by four investigations, including a criminal one. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

He said he and his team had tried "everything possible" to avoid court action.

"I am delighted that here again my innocence, integrity and reputation as a police officer has been recognised," he added.

PC Rowland also called for a "line to be drawn" over the incident.

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Sources: Mitchell's failed libel battle to cost him £3m

The overall costs of Andrew Mitchell's failed 'Plebgate' libel battle have been put at £3 million, court sources have told the Press Association.

Andrew Mitchell had sued News Group Newspapers in an attempt to clear his name over his conduct in the 'Plebgate' incident. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
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Mitchell 'bitterly disappointed' after 'miserable two years'

Former Government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has said he is "bitterly disappointed" to have lost his High Court libel action over the "Plebgate" incident.

Andrew Mitchell was surrounded by his family and friends as he delivered his brief statement outside the High Court.

Speaking outside the High Court, Mr Mitchell said the verdict came after a "miserable two years".

The MP, who has been ordered to pay interim costs of £300,000, said he now wanted to "bring this matter to a close and and get on with our lives".

After the ruling PC Toby Rowland said he hoped a "line can be drawn and everyone can be left in peace".

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Andrew Mitchell ordered to pay £300,000 interim costs

Former Government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has been ordered to pay interim costs of £300,000 after he lost his High Court libel action over the "Plebgate" incident.

Former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell MP arrived at the High Court in London with his wife Dr Sharon Bennett. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
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Police Federation 'pleased' with 'Plebgate' verdict

The Police Federation of England and Wales has said it is "pleased" Mr Justice Mitting has ruled in PC Toby Rowland's favour after Andrew Mitchell lost his High Court libel action over the "Plebgate incident".

Toby's name has been cleared and his integrity restored. Toby has conducted himself with dignity and professionalism in relation to this incident and subsequent inquiries and legal cases.

It is important that this incident is now brought to a close to allow Toby and his family to look to the future.

– Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales

PC Rowland sued Andrew Mitchell for libel over statements accusing him of fabricating the alleged verbal abuse at Downing Street in 2012.

Former government chief whip Mitchell lost his libel action against News Group Newspapers over The Sun's reporting of the "Plebgate" incident.

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MP: Mitchell's personal tragedy due to lack of humility

Andrew Mitchell would have avoided the personally and financially devastating verdict in his High Court libel action if he had shown a "scintilla of humility", his fellow Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has tweeted.

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Judge: PC lacked the 'wit' to make up 'Plebgate' claim

The police officer in the Plebgate incident lacked the "wit, imagination or inclination" to make up the exchange with Andrew Mitchell, Mr Justice Mitting has said.

The judge's ruling rejected the allegation there was collusion by the officers on the Downing Street gate following the row with the then-chief whip.

Andrew Mitchell's 27-year career in politics suffered a huge blow when the Plebgate claims emerged. Credit: PA

Mr Justice Mitting said PC Rowland was "not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper".

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Mitchell 'grim-faced' as 'Plebgate' verdict was delivered

Andrew Mitchell looked "grim-faced" throughout the verdict as he learned he had lost his 'Plebgate' libel action, ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen has tweeted.

PC Toby Rowland claimed statements made Mr Mitchell from December 2012 onwards falsely suggested he had fabricated his allegations.

Mr Mitchell had denied saying: "Best you learn your f****** place - you don't run this f****** government - you're f****** plebs."

He said he would never call a policeman a pleb "let alone a f****** pleb" - although he agreed he muttered audibly under his breath 'I thought you lot were supposed to f****** help us' - but not at the officer.

The 58-year-old MP for Sutton Coldfield resigned as whip a month after the altercation.

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Judge 'satisfied' Mitchell used the 'toxic word' pleb

The judge at London's High Court has said he is "satisfied" Andrew Mitchell did use the "politically toxic word pleb" in the exchange with PC Toby Rowland at the Downing Street gates.

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen relayed Mr Justice Mitting's words from court, tweeting:

Mr Mitchell sued News Group Newspapers (NGN) over a September 2012 story in The Sun that claimed the then-chief whip had a branded police officer a "f****** bleb" for not allowing him to cycle through the Downing Street gate.

NGN based its report, which it said was substantially true, on the account given in his log by PC Toby Rowland.

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