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"Plebgate" policeman seeks £200,000 libel damages from Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell has always denied using the term "plebs" Credit: PA Wire

The policeman at the centre of the Plebgate row is demanding up to £200,000 in compensation from the MP for Sutton Coldfield Andrew Mitchell.

Toby Rowland has filed court papers repeating his claim that Mr Mitchell used the term "plebs" during their confrontation in Downing Street in 2012.

He also argues that the then chief whip, who was forced to resign in the wake of the controversy, changed his story after effectively admitting in a phone call that he had said the disputed words.

The documents have been lodged as part of a libel battle between the MP, the police officer, and The Sun newspaper.

Stating his case in detail for the first time since the incident, Mr Rowland insists Mr Mitchell erupted after being blocked from cycling out of the pedestrian gate to leave the street.

The politician has previously admitted to using "Anglo-Saxon" language, but said he did not swear at police, and denied using the term "plebs".

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Premier League stars support Petrov match

Petrov retired from professional football after a battle with cancer Credit: PA

A host of Premier League stars will play for Bulgaria in a charity football match today to raise money for Stilliyan Petrov's charity.

The former Aston Villa skipper was forced to retire from professional football after a battle with leukaemia.

Petrov will line up with the likes of Julian Joachin and Alan Wright, while Steve Staunton, Bryan Small and European Cup-winning aces Ken McNaught, are expected to turn out for their opponents.

Kick off is a 2pm in at the Trevor Brown Memorial Stadium, Boldmere.

Petrov to play football again

Petrov was forced to retire from professional football after being diagnosed with leukaemia Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Former Aston Villa captain Stilliyan Petrov will line up alongside a host of ex-Villa stars in a charity match in Sutton Coldfield today.

The match is taking place at the Trevor Brown Memorial Stadium in Boldmere at 2pm in aid of the former skipper's new foundation.

Petrov was forced to retire from professional football following a battle with leukaemia.

West Midlands Police boss apologises to Mitchell over 'plebgate'

Mr Mitchell always denied using the word 'plebs' when speaking to officers at the gates of Downing Street Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell has received a formal apology from the Chief Constable of the West Midlands over the involvement of one of his officers in the plebgate affair.

Chris Sims visited Mr Mitchell at his constituency office today.

The apology is the latest from senior police staff. Mr Mitchell has always denied calling Downing Street police officers 'plebs'.

Police Chief set to apologise to Andrew Mitchell

West Midlands Police Chief Constable, Chris Sims Credit: West Midlands Police

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, is expected to apologise to Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell today, over the role of one of of his officers in the 'Plebgate' affair.

Earlier this month, Mr Mitchell received an apology from Scotland Yard Chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, where they agreed on the importance of 'drawing a line' under the matter.

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Police commander 'devastated' over foul-mouthed voicemail

Birmingham North police commander Rachel Jones has written an open letter Credit: ITV News Central

A police commander in Birmingham has written that she is 'devastated' after two police officers were accused of leaving an expletive-ridden voicemail message on the phone of a suspected domestic abuse victim.

Rachel Jones, Birmingham North police commander, has written an open letter saying that she was 'devastated' after hearing the recording:

"I’ve apologised to [the complainant] in person and reassured this will be vigorously investigated, but also for other victims who may, on the back of this, have reservations about reporting abuse to police.

"Understandably, accusations like this risk undermining public confidence in the police – but I would seek to reassure members of the public this alleged conduct is quite exceptional and in no way reflects the attitudes of our officers or the force generally."

Officers investigated as foul-mouthed rant left on suspected victim's voicemail

WARNING: This story contains language which some people may find offensive

Two police officers have been accused of leaving a vile, expletive-riddled voicemail message on the phone of a suspected domestic abuse victim.

An investigation has been launched by the professional standards team at West Midlands Police over the claims.

Emma Burrows spoke to the police who say they hope the alleged incident does not put people off reporting abuse in the future.

Domestic violence charity calls for public inquiry

A domestic violence charity has called for a public inquiry into the treatment of victims of domestic violence after allegations of verbal abuse from two police officers.

An official investigation has been launched by West Midlands Police following a complaint from a suspected domestic violence victim, 19-year-old Alex Faragher, who was shocked to find the foul-mouthed rant on her voicemail.

But charity Refuge says it isn't enough.

Chief executive Sandra Horley said the charity regularly deals with women who experience a "negative" response from police.

I was appalled, but not surprised, to hear the comments allegedly left by West Midlands Police officers on the voicemail.

We know that negative attitudes about women who experience domestic violence persist within the police, but it is rare to hear them captured on tape.

These horrifying comments are not an isolated incident. Day in, day out, we hear about police officers failing to respond to women experiencing domestic violence.

We urgently need a public inquiry to uncover the truth about the way the police, and all state agencies, respond to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

– Sandra Horley, Refuge chief executive
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