::"plebgate" row



{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=EngvarB |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} The "Plebgate" (or "Plodgate", "Gategate") scandal in the United Kingdom concerns an altercation between Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, the Government Chief Whip at the time (who later resigned because of the incident), and the police, which took place on 19 September 2012. It gained notoriety initially for the conduct claimed of Mitchell and again two months later when, subsequent to Mitchell's resignation, CCTV and other evidence was revealed which appeared to call into question some of the evidence against Mitchell.<ref name=guardtime>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Leaked police logs, later apparently backed up by eyewitness evidence, suggested that Mitchell had sworn at police officers on duty at Downing Street and called them "plebs" (a pejorative word signifying someone of low social class) when they refused to open the main gate for him as he attempted to leave with his bicycle. Mitchell apologised but denied using the words claimed and in particular calling police officers "plebs". However, finding his position untenable amid the media storm surrounding the incident, he resigned from office a month later.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

The story returned to the headlines again in December 2012, when CCTV footage was released to the media which threw into doubt the police version of events and when it was revealed that an email purporting to be from a member of the public, which had backed up the accounts given in the official police log, was actually sent by a serving police officer who had not been present at the scene.<ref name=cctv>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident as Operation Alice.

The affair was revisited again in October 2013, after a report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded three officers had given a false account of a meeting they had with Mitchell at his constituency office in October 2012, and that the findings of a subsequent investigation had been changed at the eleventh hour to recommend no disciplinary action be taken against them. The report prompted both Home Secretary Theresa May and Prime Minister David Cameron to criticise the conduct of the officers involved, with Cameron calling for Mitchell to receive an apology over the incident. The officers subsequently issued a statement in which they apologised for misleading the public. At the Old Bailey, PC Keith Wallis subsequently admitted falsely claiming to have witnessed the incident and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

During hearings for an October 2014 libel case Mitchell vs News Group Newspapers Limited it was revealed that there were 16 previous altercations between Andrew Mitchell and police officers around Westminster.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> One of the alleged incidents – occurring in November 2005 - involved Mitchell claiming that he was too important to stop for a police officer, and a direct insult addressed to the officer involved.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

"plebgate" row sections