The IPCC has questioned the decision of three police forces not to discipline three officers after an investigation into a meeting in the wake of the plebgate scandal.
The former Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, met the trio to discuss reports he'd called Downing Street guards "plebs".
He denied shouting the insult - but the police watchdog says the officers may have lied about what he told them.
ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports:
Home Secretary Theresa May told the Home Affairs Select Committee it was "quite wrong" of West Mercia Police not to take disciplinary proceedings against the three officers.
Mrs May said: "The IPCC statement makes troubling reading.
"If it is indeed the case that warranted police officers behaved in the way Deborah Glass has described, that's not acceptable at all."
A statement from the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents tens of thousands of rank-and-file officers, said:
The IPCC had the choice at the outset of this investigation either to conduct an independent, managed or supervised investigation, and it chose to supervise.
Against this factual background, we are therefore shocked that the IPCC Commissioner, Deborah Glass, would then appoint herself judge and jury by releasing her personal view that she disagrees with the findings and asks the public to decide.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has released the transcript of the meeting between Andrew Mitchell and three representatives of the Police Federation.
The police watchdog said a misconduct panel should decide if the three police officers gave a false account of the meeting with the former Conservative chief whip.
The meeting took place after Mr. Mitchell was accused of calling police officers plebs.
The full transcript can be read here.
Asked if David Cameron thought disciplinary action should be taken against the three officers, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a daily Westminster media briefing:
These are decisions for the relevant authorities.
It is very necessary that the proper processes are followed so that we get to the bottom of things. That is absolutely right. But there are authorities with the authority to take decisions around these types of things and it is not for politicians to get involved in the taking of those decisions.
Deborah Glass, IPCC Deputy Chair said West Mercia Police found that although the Police Federation contributed to the pressure on Mr Mitchell and his decision to resign, none of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct.
– Deborah Glass, IPCC Deputy Chair
The investigating officer concluded that while the federation representatives' comments to the media could be viewed as ambiguous or misleading, there was no deliberate intention to lie. I disagree.
In my view, the evidence is such that a panel should determine whether the three officers gave a false account of the meeting in a deliberate attempt to support their Metropolitan Police colleague and discredit Mr Mitchell, in pursuit of a wider agenda.
In my opinion, the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity, not merely naive or poor professional judgment.
A statement from Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands Police said: "Despite a thorough investigation under the supervision of the IPCC we do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to support the view that the officers concerned should face misconduct proceedings.
"Our view is that the officers have demonstrated poor judgement in arranging and attending the meeting in the first place."In light of this, our position is that management action is a proportionate response."
Andrew Mitchell has said that three police officers requested a meeting in the wake of the plebgate scandal "under false pretences" before, "openly misrepresent the contents of that meeting."
I hope there will be considerable public concern that three Police Officers: Inspector Ken MacKaill, West Mercia Police, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton, Warwickshire Police, Sergeant Chris Jones, West Midlands Police were able to secure a meeting with a democratically elected Cabinet Minister under false pretences, openly misrepresent the contents of that meeting, and on the back of that misrepresentation call for his resignation at a press conference they had assembled for the purpose, and yet face no disciplinary consequences for their behaviour.
The Police Federation had requested a “private” meeting to “clear the air”. In fact, as the publicity from Gaunt Brothers PR Agency makes clear, they had issued a press release in advance, informing the press of the invitation and as the IPCC has found, leaking details of the venue. The meeting was demonstrably held under false pretences and its outcome, a call for my resignation, was almost certainly pre-determined. The inconvenient truth that I gave a full explanation of what happened was not allowed to get in the way of that agenda.
Deborah Glass, IPCC Deputy Chair said:
As police officers they had a responsibility to present a fair and accurate picture. Their motive seems plain: they were running a successful, high profile, anti-cuts campaign and the account that he provided to them did not fit with their agenda.
Although Mr Mitchell has made his views about the officers’ conduct clear he has chosen not to make a formal complaint, therefore the power to direct misconduct proceedings is not open to me in this case.