Downing Street launches 'plebgate' fightback

Andrew Mitchell arriving at Downing Street. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Andrew Mitchell has written a piece for the Sunday Times (£) in which he has accused the police of trying to destroy his career in a smear campaign and says he was being stitched up.

He has also spoken to the Sunday Telegraph and says there has been a sustained attempt to toxify the Conservative party and his reputation after he was accused of calling police officers "plebs" in Downing Street. Of course he denies that claim.

CCTV footage has undermined the claims. Credit: ITV News

In a further development, The Mail on Sunday has published the name and the photograph of the police officer who - they say - was at the centre of what happened that night in Downing Street.

They claim that he was the police officer who escorted Mr Mitchell out of the side door, that he wrote the police log in which he claimed he had been sworn at by Mr Mitchell, and that Mr Mitchell had used that word: "plebs".

Andrew Mitchell has denied the claims. Credit: ITV News

Some of that police log has been discredited because of CCTV footage that has come to light, as well as other evidence, so there are questions there.

Meanwhile, another police office - as well as a second man who does not work for the police - have already been arrested and bailed in connection with this.

Tonight, Downing Street is trying to launch a bit of a fightback over this, over claims that they did not back up Andrew Mitchell enough.

They have said that the Prime Minister stood behind Andrew Mitchell and that his resignation was only accepted with reluctance.