Straw blasts 'plebgate' probe

Former Home Secretary Jack Straw said delays in the 'plebgate' investigation risked bringing the police into disrepute after a former prosecutor raised criticisms of the probe into Andrew Mitchell's conduct.

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'Plebgate' delays could bring police into disrepute

Former Home Secretary Jack Straw said delays in the 'plebgate' investigation risked bringing the police into disrepute.

Former Home Secretary Jack Straw has sent a letter to Theresa May. Credit: Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're not police officers, we're not investigators.

"What I've said in my letter to Theresa May is that whilst as the Home Secretary, as I know very well, it's not appropriate to seek to influence the outcome of an investigation, it is certainly appropriate, certainly in my experience a lot, to find out what is going on in an investigation.

"In particular why delays are taking place, which frankly have the risk of bringing the police into some level of disrepute and that is a responsibility of the Home Secretary."

Met failure to conclude plebgate inquiry 'outrageous'

Ex-director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald, who criticised the Metropolitan Police's handling of the plebgate investigations, has warned a missile is heading "straight for the heart of the Metropolitan Police" if it turns out the use of the word "pleb" was fabricated.

Writing in The Times, he added:

It seems quite outrageous that, in the face of the simplicity of the allegations and this significant commitment of public resources, the investigation rambles on with no apparent end in sight.

We are talking here about the resignation of a British Cabinet minister, a resignation forced upon him at the height of his career by police allegations that are now seriously called into question.

An expeditious and thorough investigation should have been perfectly possible.


Met Police defend handling of plebgate investigations

Scotland Yard and the police watchdog have defended their handling of investigations into the so-called plebgate affair in the face of scathing criticism from a former chief prosecutor.

Ex-director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said it is "outrageous" that the police force has yet to publish a conclusion about the 45-second incident outside Downing Street nearly a year ago which led to then chief whip Andrew Mitchell's resignation.

But the Metropolitan Police have said the inquiry is complicated and will "take as long as is necessary", while the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said "all that can be done to conclude the investigation is being done".

While the incident which sparked this investigation is on the face of it simple - it took less than a minute to unfold - what has evolved are allegations of a conspiracy which by its very nature is complex.

While I share the concerns of others that the investigation is taking far longer than originally anticipated, I am regularly updated on its progress, I am personally reviewing the evidence and I am satisfied that all that can be done to conclude the investigation is being done and that Mr Mitchell himself is kept informed.

– Deborah Glass, deputy chairwoman of the IPCC
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