Met to probe source of Sun's Andrew Mitchell 'plebs' scoop

The Met is investigating the apparent leak of official documents to The Sun relating to its coverage of Andrew Mitchell’s altercation with officers at Downing Street.

Today The Sun’s front page splash said the paper had seen an official police report supporting its claims that Chief Whip Mitchell called a police officer a “pleb” at the gates of Downing Street.

The Met has now confirmed that is investigating the circumstances of the leak and had informed the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Mitchell repeated his apology to police in a statement this morning, admitting he did not show “the amount of respect I should have done”, but asked by a reporter whether he called the police officer a pleb he said (according to PA): “I want to make it absolutely clear that I did not use the words attributed to me.”

The Sun first made the allegations last week, claiming the officer targeted by the “foul-mouthed rant” told  his superiors that Mitchell told him: “Best you learn your fucking place. You don’t run this fucking government. You’re fucking plebs.”

Today the paper said it had seen the official report in the incident and that it “confirms the Chief Whip repeatedly swore”.

“The explosive contents make it impossible for PM David Cameron to continue ignoring police and Labour demands for a full investigation.

“And it comes as the Cabinet Minister admitted to a friend that he swore –contrary to earlier denials.”

A spokesperson for the Met told Press Gazette: “We are aware of this and the DPS [Department of Public Prosecutions] has been informed. Enquiries into the circumstances are being carried out.”

The Sun also claimed this morning that the report “is backed up by at least two officers making the same verbatim note of the full exchange in their pocket books”.

Mitchell refused to be drawn on what he actually said to the officer this morning.

"I have apologised to the police, I have apologised to the police officer involved on the gate and he's accepted my apology and I hope very much that we can draw a line under it there," he said.

According to The Sun, former Tory minister David Mellor “lashed out at police with a bribery smear in a bid to save Mr Mitchell’s skin”, claiming: “A police officer tipped off The Sun, and probably received money for doing so.”

But a spokesman for The Sun “that while it does not discuss its sources, no money has been offered, asked for or exchanged for any information about the Mitchell story”.

 

 

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