BBC News is today saying that a Police Complaints Commission report states that there has not been a proper inquiry into the ‘Plebgate’ row, in which MP and former Tory Chief Whip resigned over accusations that he had called police ‘f***ing plebs’.
Watch as Tory spin doctors try to make this statement mean that the police did wrong and Mr Mitchell is ‘exonerated’ (as was already claimed months ago when no such thing was true). But that’s not what it means at all – it’s a criticism of process, not of the facts or otherwise of the case.
Mr Mitchell has previously claimed that footage shows there was no opportunity for him to have had a row with police – but, as this analysis demonstrates, the footage shows nothing of the sort, and supports the police account rather than undermining it.
Please spread the word again, to get ahead of the inevitable new bout of weaseling to try to restore this odious man to the Cabinet.
The Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, is quoted in today’s Sunday Telegraph and on BBC News as saying that
Public confidence in the police has been shaken after failures over the way officers responded to the Hillsborough disaster, and new disclosures over the “Plebgate” controversy
and calling for a public inquiry into policing.
Nobody can question that the Hillsborough disaster was a catastrophe for those affected by it, or that it cast the South Yorkshire police of the time in a very grim light. But to put that tragedy – which happened over 2 decades ago – alongside ‘disclosures over the “Plebgate” controversy” in order to describe public confidence in the police as ‘shaken’ is to give the supposed ‘disclosures’, by former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell and his supporters via Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ programme, a weight and credence that they simply do not deserve.
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