Former Home Secretary Jack Straw said the Police Federation displayed "poverty of leadership" after three police officers were accused of conspiring against former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell over the "plebgate" scandal.
Mr Straw told Radio 4's Today programme that representatives had "allowed themselves to run away with the idea that if they embroidered the truth - and I put that mildly - then they could get the scalp of a Conservative Cabinet minister of an administration with whom they were in conflict."
He said it showed a "readiness" by the Federation "to resort to completely inappropriate behaviour which you would not expect of anybody, but least of all of police officers."
It's turning out to be a big week in the life of the story we call "plebgate".
West Mercia Police have confirmed they are reviewing a report on the 'Plebgate' scandal which is alleged to have been fundamentally altered.
Claims have emerged police officers changed the conclusions of a probe into a meeting between Andrew Mitchell and federation members.