Statement by the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP

26th October 2012

I would also like to thank those journalists who refused to side with the mob when I was caught between the pincers of the press and the actions of the police for 89 days from 19 September–18 December 2012.

I want to make it clear that I do not believe that the truth of this incident would ever have emerged without the investigations undertaken by Channel 4 - Dispatches.

But I am speaking out today not so much on behalf of myself and my family, where I am confident we will achieve justice, but much more importantly on behalf of others who may not have been able to fight back against Police misconduct and who have not had the support that I have had. What I say today I say in deep sorrow and not in anger.

I reiterate once again, as I have always made clear, that I was leaving my place of work in Downing Street on 19 September last year when Police on duty chose this occasion to obstruct my exit. In frustration I said “I thought you guys were supposed to fucking help us” – for which I subsequently apologised. I have always made clear that I used Anglo Saxon language in the presence of Police Officers but I did not swear at them

This casts grave doubt on the ability of the Police to investigate wrong-doing in their own ranks.

It is unsatisfactory enough, in normal circumstances, for Police Officers to investigate each other. But in this instance the task was severely compromised when their Commanding Officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, had already comprehensively acquitted his Officers by announcing on the national media that he had “100% confidence” in those Officers who were involved.

The more important issue is who invented the three lying phrases about plebs and people knowing their place. These appear in the Police Log and were used to destroy my political career and pursue a campaign of opposition to Government plans and policy in respect of Police pay and conditions. These three phrases were used to toxify the Conservative Party and were trumpeted by the Police Federation across at least 4 Police Forces to vilify me as well as to campaign against the elected Government, including turning up at Party Conferences wearing ‘Pleb’ t-shirts. These three phrases attributed to me are completely untrue; they were made up and disseminated by a police officer.

We have repeatedly requested a scene of crime visit with the investigating Police at the relevant time of day, as well as sight of the notebooks and log book entry which Police released to the press, the Federation of Police and the broadcasters but which have not been shown to us.

My lawyer, Stephen Parkinson, has seen the remaining CCTV and is satisfied it backs my account of what happened. He will explain why in his view as an experienced prosecutor a prosecution should have been brought on the basis of that evidence.

All these Officers must be held to account if the good name of thousands of decent Police Officers, who do a great job for their communities, is to be preserved.

2013-11-27