Plebgate: Mitchell complains to police watchdog

Andrew Mitchell's campaign to clear his name in the wake of the 'plebgate' affair which forced him from the Cabinet has gone firmly on to the offensive this weekend.

The former chief whip, who resigned last October after losing his temper with police guarding the main entrance to Downing Street on September 19th, has written to the main police watchdog complaining about the Metropolitan police's conduct.

He denies calling officers "plebs" but admitted swearing at on-duty officers. The Met, which is currently investigating the conduct of its officers, passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week reportedly indicating there were no irregularities in the account provided by the diplomatic protection officers on duty at the time.

"We are deeply dismayed that the Metropolitan police appear to have leaked part of their report prepared for the CPS to certain members of the press and spun it to the advantage of the police officers involved," Mitchell wrote in a letter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission's deputy chair, Deborah Glass.

"This was an Enquiry (sic) into a dishonest and illicit attempt to blacken my name and destroy my career. It would appear that this police enquiry continues precisely that process."

His IPCC demands come two days after an announcement he is suing the Sun newspaper, which published the original allegations about the incident.

The Sun has responded defiantly. A spokesperson said the red-top stood by its story and planned to "defend this claim vigorously".

Mitchell has plenty of right-wing allies on the Conservative backbenches who believe the ex-chief whip has been unfairly hounded out of office, however.

David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, told the Independent on Sunday newspaper the Mitchell case had begun with "half truths and partial intelligence" being briefed to the press.

"That is exactly what has been happening again during the inquiry," he said.