Andrew Mitchell complains to police watchdog over Scotland Yard handling of 'Plebgate' row report
Former chief whip maintains allegation of personal campaign to destroy his career
The former government minister who lost his job over "Plebgate" has lodged a formal complaint against Scotland Yard.
Andrew Mitchell, the coalition government's former chief whip, has written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) accusing the Metropolitan Police of a continued campaign to “destroy” his career.
Mr Mitchell took the action after newspaper reports suggested a police file passed to the Crown Prosecution Service contained no evidence that officers lied about his behaviour.
As Mitchell admits, he had an ill-tempered argument with police officers at the gates to Downing St in September last year, when they wouldn't let him ride his bike through the main gate. The following day, the Sun reported that in an expletive-infested rant, he called the officers "plebs".
Such a furore was caused by the allegation that after a month of bad press, Mitchell resigned as chief whip.
He insists that he never used that word, and that he fell victim of a deliberate campaign to "toxify" the Conservatives and ruin his career.
And earlier this week he confirmed that his lawyers had issued a libel writ against the Sun, which broke the story. A friend said the MP had been subjected to a "campaign of vilification".
A spokesman for the newspaper said it stood by its story "and will defend this claim vigorously".
Earlier this week Scotland Yard passed a file to prosecutors following its inquiry into the affair. It contains no evidence police officers lied in a “campaign of vilification.”
The Yard is currently trying to find out how the Sun and Daily Telegraph obtained information about the row and if it came from police. Three officers from the Diplomatic Protection Group have so far been arrested as part of the investigation. All three remain suspended.
The CPS will consider whether to press charges.
In Mr Mitchell's letter, revealed today, to IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass, he wrote: “We are deeply dismayed that the Metropolitan Police appear to have leaked part of their Report prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to certain members of the Press and spun it to the advantage of the Police officers involved.
”This was an Enquiry into a dishonest and illicit attempt to blacken my name and destroy my career. It would appear that this police enquiry continues precisely that process.“
Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said the latest development showed it was wrong for Scotland Yard to lead the inquiry into its own officers and called for the whole investigation to be taken over by the IPCC.
Some 30 detectives have taken statements from all 800 officers in the DPG, which is tasked with protecting government officials.
Mr Vaz said the committee had argued from the start that Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was wrong to allow Scotland Yard to conduct the investigation.
Britain's most senior police officer promised a ”ruthless“ investigation into the alleged conspiracy ”no matter where the truth takes us“.
The Metropolitan Police said its inquiries into the matter were continuing.
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