'Plebgate' officers 'betrayed' by Met bosses, says ex-cop

A former policeman at the centre of the "plebgate" row has said officers on duty at the gates of Downing Street have been "betrayed" by their Metropolitan Police bosses.

Ian Richardson said he believes his colleagues' claims that Andrew Mitchell called officers "plebs" and was "officious and rude", in an interview with The Times.

Despite not hearing the exchange, Mr Richardson said Pc Toby Rowland, the officer who claims he was sworn at by Mr Mitchell, immediately recounted what was allegedly said.

Mitchell, the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, admits swearing at the officers but maintains that he did not use the other words attributed.

Andrew Mitchell admits swearing at the officers but maintains that he did not use the other words attributed. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Richardson accused the Metropolitan Police of failing the officers involved by concentrating on who leaked the story to the media rather than investigating what had happened and issuing a statement to clarify the incident.

The former officer, who retired with 30 years' service in October 2012, said Mr Mitchell should not have lost his job over a "quirky incident that should have blown over".