Yvette Cooper accuses David Cameron of cover-up over Andrew Mitchell police row

 

David Cameron was today accused of presiding over a “cover-up” over Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's altercation with a Downing Street police officer.

After No 10 last night ruled out an official inquiry into the encounter, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Prime Minister appeared determined to prevent the truth coming out.

Pressure on Mr Mitchell intensified after The Daily Telegraph published the full 442-word police log of the incident, which showed he called officers "plebs" and swore at them repeatedly.

While he has apologised for showing a lack of respect to the police, Mr Mitchell insisted he did not use the words attributed to him - prompting angry complaints from the Police Federation that he was effectively accusing the officers involved of lying.

The Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood last night attempted to draw a line under the matter, arguing that there was no purpose in holding an inquiry as the officer concerned had accepted Mr Mitchell's apology and did not wish to pursue the matter.

However Ms Cooper said that it was essential to establish who was telling the truth.

"It now looks like there is a cover-up going on and really I think both Andrew Mitchell and the prime minister need to tell us exactly what is happening," she told ITV's Daybreak.

"You read these reports and you have got a cabinet minister not just swearing at the police but also sneering at them, calling them plebs, saying they should know their place.

"I don't think the Prime Minister can just dismiss this and try and sweep this under the carpet.

"I think people will want to know the truth across the country and at the moment, so far, the Government just seem to be trying to clamp down and trying to prevent that coming out."

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire insisted that it was possible that both Mr Mitchell and the officer genuinely had different recollections of what happened.

"I have got no reason to doubt the recollections of either Andrew Mitchell or the police officer concerned," he told Sky News.

"It may well be that they can both honestly believe that their recollection of those events is as has been recorded."

Mr Mitchell also finally received the backing of the Tories' Liberal Democrat coalition partners.

After Business Secretary Vince Cable yesterday revelled in Mr Mitchell's discomfort during his speech to the Lib Dem party conference in Brighton, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said it was now time to move on.

"Andrew Mitchell has apologised for what he did," he said. "I gather he has apologised directly to the police. I think we should draw a line under the matter now."

According to the Telegraph, the police log describes Mr Mitchell speaking to a female officer on Wednesday evening and "demanding exit through the main vehicle gate into Whitehall".

He was told that it was "policy" for cyclists to use the pedestrian gate.

"Mr Mitchell refused, stating he was the Chief Whip and he always used the main gates," the report goes on.

"I explained to Mr Mitchell that the policy was to use the side pedestrian gates and that I was happy to open those for him, but that no officer present would be opening the main gates as this was the policy we were directed to follow.

"Mr Mitchell refused. Repeatedly reiterating he was the Chief Whip... After several refusals Mr Mitchell got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him.

"There were several members of public present as is the norm opposite the pedestrian gate and as we neared it, Mr Mitchell said: 'Best you learn your f****** place... you don't run this f****** Government... You're ******* plebs.'

"The members of public looked visibly shocked and I was somewhat taken aback by the language used and the view expressed by a senior Government official. I cannot say if this statement was aimed at me individually, or the officers present or the police service as a whole."

The log states that the officer warned Mr Mitchell that he could be arrested for swearing.

"I warned Mr Mitchell that he should not swear, and if he continued to do so I would have no option but to arrest him under the Public Order Act, saying 'Please don't swear at me, sir. If you continue to I will have no option but to arrest you under the Public Order Act'," it states.

"Mr Mitchell was then silent and left saying 'You haven't heard the last of this' as he cycled off."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Research Executive - Quantitative/Qualitative

£27000 - £31000 Per Annum Excellent Benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

ETL Developer / Consultant

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Primary supply teachers required in Stowmarket

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week