Plebgate: Mitchell ups pressure on Met commissioner

By staff

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell has no confidence in Metropolitan police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, according to reports.

The former chief whip, who was forced out of the Cabinet after a storm over his alleged foul-mouthed rant against police officers on duty outside Downing Street, has questioned the impartiality of Scotland Yard's senior figures.

David Cameron announced in prime minister's questions the Met's internal investigation of the critical police log would be "supervised" by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The log stated that Mitchell called on-duty officers "f***ing plebs", creating howls of anger against elitist Tories in government. Mitchell later resigned.

Now it has emerged Mitchell met with David Cameron in Downing Street earlier this week, suggesting that his former international development secretary could be returning to government soon.

Cameron said, when asked about the possibility, said: "One step at a time.

"Let's get to the truth about what happened but I think it has been an extraordinary development to find a police officer apparently posing as a member of the public, pretending to have been outside Downing Street at the time and then trying to blacken the name of a Cabinet minister."

Efforts by Mitchell and his allies in parliament to clear his name have stepped up in a week which began with the emergence of CCTV footage casting doubt on the accounts of on-duty police officers.

Last weekend a Met officer was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office. A second arrest of a 23-year-old man, who is not a police officer or member of police staff, took place in midweek.

The Police Federation of England and Wales is now gearing up to apologise to Mitchell after having initially reacted with outrage to reports of Mitchell's behaviour.

Chairman Paul McKeever acknowledged the Police Federation had "stoked up" hostility against the former chief whip.

"I was quite taken aback and shocked at the time on what I heard," he said.

Bookmakers William Hill is now offering odds of 3/1 that Mitchell will return to his old job in the whips' office before the 2015 general election.

It has cut its odds that Hogan-Howe will stand down before April next year from 5/1 to 9/2.