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IPCC halts probe into 'Plebgate' union representatives

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.

Andrew Mitchell. Credit: Press Association

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."

Scotland Yard rejects 'plebgate' officer's resignation

A police constable caught up in the 'plebgate' row has had his resignation offer rejected by Scotland Yard.

Pc Keith Wallis could face a jail term after admitting that he pretended to witness a confrontation between MP Andrew Mitchell, who was then chief whip, and officers in Downing Street.

Keith Wallis was the only officer to have been charged in connection with the 'plebgate' affair. Credit: PA

When Wallis entered a guilty plea to misconduct in a public office earlier this month, it also emerged that he had offered to resign.

But Scotland Yard said: "Pc Keith Wallis has made an application to resign from the Metropolitan Police Service. In line with police regulations the deputy commissioner has the right to refuse the resignation of an officer who has been suspended.

"The deputy commissioner has refused to accept Pc Wallis's resignation and he will face a misconduct board in the coming weeks."

Mr Wallis is due to be sentenced on February 6 and he will then face being sacked.


'Essential' trust between police and public is restored

The Police Federation needs to implement a raft of recommendations put forward by an independent review if they are restore public faith in the police, Labour MP Keith Vaz told Daybreak.

Mr Vaz said it was "essential" trust between the federation and the public was restored.

However, he empathised with members of the public who felt let down by the police as he expressed some dismay that the "only people not to apologise" for "Plebgate" were the Police Federation.

Sun: PC guilty plea 'a red herring to the main event'

The Sun's Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn, who broke the original 'plebgate' story, has claimed the police officer's admission today to falsifying witnessing the row, was merely "a red herring to the main event": the Downing Street PC who alleged Andrew Mitchell called him a "pleb".

A Sun spokesman said: "We stand by our story and will defend Mr Mitchell's claim vigorously".

Mr Mitchell is suing the paper for libel.

In a statement, he said: "I am pleased that justice has been done in a criminal court today....I am looking forward to seeing justice done in the up to 10 other related disciplinary cases involving police officers"

Mitchell in constituency after 'plebgate' guilty plea

Former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell was in his constituency after a police officer admitted to falsely claiming to have witnessed the 'plebgate' row.

Andrew Mitchell pictured in his Sutton Coldfield constituency today. Credit: ITV News

He had earlier issued a statement saying: "It is very sad and worrying for all of us that a serving police officer should have behaved in this way."


Mitchell declines to comment on 'plebgate' news

Andrew Mitchell declined to comment to awaiting reporters on the news a police officer has pleaded guilty to misconduct over the "plebgate" scandal during his visit to his Sutton Coldfield constituency.

Andrew Mitchell pictured in his Sutton Coldfield constituency today. Credit: ITV News

Mr Mitchell told them: "I hope you're enjoying visiting my constituency."

He had earlier issued a written statement saying he was "pleased that justice has been done."

Cross-party support for Mitchell to return to Cabinet

Senior MPs on both sides of the green benches for Andrew Mitchell to be reappointed to the Cabinet after a police officer admitting to falsely claiming to have witnessed the 'plebgate' row between the former Chief Whip and officers:

PM: 'Completely unacceptable' officer falsified account

David Cameron said it was "completely unacceptable" for a police officer to falsify their account of an incident after PC Keith Wallis pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office over the "plebgate" affair.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister said: “It is completely unacceptable for a serving police officer to falsify an account of any incident.

"Andrew Mitchell has consistently denied the version of events presented in the email and I welcome the fact that the officer concerned has now pleaded guilty.”

'Plebgate' PC's actions 'risks casting shadow over police'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the actions of PC Keith Wallis, who has pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office in relation to the "plebgate" affair, risks "casting a shadow over the excellent work police officers do day in, day out".

For a police officer to make up evidence in any case is an extremely serious offence which jeopardises justice and undermines confidence in the important work police do. Police officers uphold the law, and their evidence must be trusted in court.

Democracy depends on the idea that everyone can rely on the police to treat them with honesty and fairness, without fear or favour - from Cabinet ministers to teenagers in the street or victims of crime.

So it is of great concern when those we trust fall below the standards the police and the public expect.

Andrew Mitchell has had to wait far too long for the results of all these investigations. The remaining misconduct inquiries must be pursued swiftly.

– Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper
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