A former policeman at the centre of the "plebgate" row has said officers on duty at the gates of Downing Street have been "betrayed" by their Metropolitan Police bosses.
Ian Richardson said he believes his colleagues' claims that Andrew Mitchell called officers "plebs" and was "officious and rude", in an interview with The Times.
Despite not hearing the exchange, Mr Richardson said Pc Toby Rowland, the officer who claims he was sworn at by Mr Mitchell, immediately recounted what was allegedly said.
Mitchell, the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, admits swearing at the officers but maintains that he did not use the other words attributed.
Mr Richardson accused the Metropolitan Police of failing the officers involved by concentrating on who leaked the story to the media rather than investigating what had happened and issuing a statement to clarify the incident.
The former officer, who retired with 30 years' service in October 2012, said Mr Mitchell should not have lost his job over a "quirky incident that should have blown over".
The ripples from Andrew Mitchell's short, bad tempered altercation at the Downing Street gate continue to spread.
ITV News has learned that the police watchdog has temporarily suspended its investigation into three police union representatives over their meeting with Mr Mitchell.
The officers from Mr Mitchell's local Police Federation branches gave an account of a meeting with him about the 'Plebgate' affair, which appeared to contradict a recording Andrew Mitchell made of the meeting.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an investigation into the men after they appeared in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee. But the Federation then initiated legal proceedings saying the men had already been investigated and cleared.
The Federation took out an injunction against the IPCC investigation while a Judicial Review is heard. An IPCC source says it will not harm their investigation to wait for the outcome of the review and so they are not contesting the injunction.
An IPCC spokesman said: "We deeply regret the delay in concluding a matter of great public interest.
"However, as there would be no prejudice to our investigation if it is suspended pending the outcome of proceedings we do not wish to incur unnecessary costs from the public purse in fighting the interim application.
"As a result, we will not be in a position to complete our investigation pending the conclusion of this legal action."
Andrew Mitchell said last week that he hoped Pc Toby Rowland would give evidence on oath as part of separate libel proceedings against the Sun newspaper.
Mr Mitchell told Channel 4 News: "What I do know is that I was stitched up; I was fitted up in Downing Street by armed police officers ...
"We believe that the CCTV shows that the account of Pc Toby Rowland is at very best inaccurate."
The police officer at the centre of the 'Plebgate' affair has filed a defamation case against former Tory Whip Andrew Mitchell, the Metropolitan Police Federation has confirmed.
Pc Toby Rowland, who has made the claim, was the officer on the Downing Street gate when Mr Mitchell was forced to push his bike through the pedestrian exit.
Mr Rowland's account of the altercation that followed differs from that of Mr Mitchell, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to show which one was correct.
Andrew Mitchell will not be able to recover his legal costs of he wins his libel case against The Sun newspaper over the Plebgate affair, the Court of Appeal said today.
The Court of Appeal refused to overturn a ruling from High Court judge Master Victoria McCloud imposing the punishment after Mr Mitchell's lawyers failed to submit a budget for £506,425 of costs on time.
The ex-cabinet minister, who revealed his personal anguish over the affair yesterday, is suing The Sun over its report on September 21 last year about the incident at the gates of Downing Street which led to the so-called "Plebgate" affair.
It is unclear whether the MP, who was reported to be on a no-win no fee arrangement, will now need to meet the legal bill from his own pocket.
The officer at the centre of the "plebgate" row Toby Rowland has stuck by his version of events, and said he would be prepared to give evidence under oath.
The Downing Street officer accused of lying by Andrew Mitchell has released a statement through the Police Federation saying he stands by his statement.
PC Toby Rowland said:
Speaking to reporters to condemn the police and CPS investigation into the "plebgate scandal" that cost Andrew Mitchell his job, he described in detail the devastating personal impact the scandal had on him and those close to him.
Andrew Mitchell MP, former Tory party whip, is speaking to reporters after one police officer was charged with misconduct in public office over the "plebgate" affair that forced him to resign from his job.
"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my friends, my family, my many constituents in Sutton Coldfield, my staff, my legal team, political colleagues on both sides of the House of Commons and Lords, and members of the International Development Community.
"All who gave me their support and stuck by me throughout a very bleak period."
"I would also like to thank the journalists who refused to side with the mob, when I was caught between the press and police for 89 days."