The investigation into the Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” affair was scorned today as a “waste of time and resources” by John Tully, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, after it emerged that more than 800 officers will be questioned over the scandal.
Scotland Yard is taking statements from every officer in its diplomatic unit over the clash between the police and the former Chief Whip. This follows a pledge by the Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, to hold “a ruthless search for the truth” over the row, which, some say, forced Andrew Mitchell from office unjustifiably.
Mr Tully said: “It is not unusual for any officers who were on duty at the time of an incident to be required to provide what’s called a ‘duty’ statement. But the Met has asked everyone in that command to make one, which is unusual.
“There are upwards of 800 people in that command and they have all had to put pen to paper in some way. A lot of officers live quite a long distance from where they work, and if they were sitting at home in Norwich when Andrew Mitchell was allegedly saying these words it seems to be a waste of time and resources.”