Criminal charge over 'Plebgate'

A police officer is facing a criminal charge, and he and four colleagues could lose their jobs over the 'Plebgate' row.

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  1. National

Mitchell 'vilified relentlessly' following 'plebgate'

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.

My reputation was destroyed, I was vilified relentlessly, with over 800 hate emails received over the course of that first week.

I and my family were driven from our home, with as many as 20 journalists and photographers camped outside. My children were followed by the press, my 92-year-old mother-in-law was pursued in Swansea, I was spat at on the street.

I lost my job, after a career spanning more than 25 years in parliament, serving my constituents, my party and my country.

What does all this say about our police and about basic fairness and decency in our society today?

  1. National

Andrew Mitchell thanks those that 'stuck by 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.

Andrew Mitchell, speaking to reporters, after charges were brought against PC Keith Wallis. Credit: ITV News

He said:

"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."

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Met to examine culture of Diplomatic Protection Group

I believe that public trust and confidence in the integrity of the police is fundamental to us providing an effective service for the public. I expect my officers to serve the public without fear or favour. If these officers have broken the law or acted without impartiality or integrity then they must answer for that, be it in a court of law or at gross misconduct hearings.

At this stage, I must take great care not to say or do anything that prejudices the outcome of those very important hearings.

As I have previously stated in the summer I asked Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan to begin a full review of the Diplomatic Protection Group, examining working practices, culture and behaviour in this unit of the Met.

It is vital that those we protect have confidence in our determination to protect their security and their confidentiality. This will be completed and an appropriate summary published when legal and misconduct proceedings are complete.

– Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. Met Police Commissioner
  1. National

CCTV footage of 'Plebgate' incident

CCTV footage of Andrew Mitchell leaving Downing Street was broadcast by Channel 4 News.

The CPS, who charged one officer with misconduct in a public office today, said they looked at "previously unseen and unedited CCTV" footage and concluded there was not enough evidence to "show that the officer at the (Downing Street) gate lied in his account".

PC Keith Wallis has been charged for allegedly sending an email to his MP but it is claimed he did not witness the exchange between Mr Mitchell and police officers at the gate.

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Police Federation 'welcome' no charge for gate officer

We welcome the decision by the CPS that there was insufficient evidence to show that the officer at the gate lied in his account and that there was insufficient evidence to show that Mr Mitchell was the victim of a conspiracy of misinformation.

We have always been concerned by the selected information that has been put into the public domain and it is noteworthy that the CPS came to its conclusions after reviewing all the evidence, including unedited CCTV footage from Downing Street.

– Police Federation statement
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Officer charged allegedly did not see 'Plebgate' incident

The police officer charged over the 'Plebgate' affair allegedly sent an email to his MP over the incident but it is claimed he did not witness the exchange between Andrew Mitchell and Downing Street officers, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Andrew Mitchell was forced to resign over the claims he called officers "plebs". Credit: PA

A CPS statement said: "We have also received evidence in relation to PC Keith Wallis who sent an email to the deputy chief whip, John Randall who was his MP, saying that he had witnessed the incident.

"We have decided, having carefully considered the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, that there is sufficient evidence to charge PC Wallis with misconduct in a public office and that it is in the public interest to do so.

"I should make it clear the misconduct allegation relates to evidence that PC Wallis falsely claimed to have witnessed the incident, not to how the incident was described in his account.

"PC Keith Wallis has been charged and is required to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16 December 2013."

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CPS: 'Insufficient evidence' to show Andrew Mitchell victim of a conspiracy

We have considered all of the evidence in this case, including previously unseen, unedited CCTV footage from Downing Street, not referred to by the media.

Taking it all into account, including the accounts of the officer at the gate of Downing Street and that of Andrew Mitchell MP before, during and after the incident, we have found that there is insufficient evidence to show that the officer at the gate lied in his account.

The CPS has also found that there is insufficient evidence to show that Mr Mitchell was the victim of a conspiracy of misinformation.

With insufficient evidence to show that the officer at the gate lied in his account, we must consider other matters, as set out below, on that basis.

I have, however, authorised one officer to be charged with one count of misconduct in public office.

– CPS Statement
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