The Police Federation and several senior officers do not appear to be emerging from the Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” affair in a particularly savoury light. Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph has launched a blistering attack on the Police over this and other issues. He talks of lies, cover ups and weak leadership
It is time to acknowledge that the police force faces a crisis of such gravity that it can only be solved by setting up a Royal Commission.
The Independent Police complaints Commission (IPCC) has criticised three Chief Constables for not taking any action over quite well substantiated accusations that three officers had lied about a discussion they had with Andrew Mitchell.
Three police officers have been criticised for apparently giving a false account of a meeting with the former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, which the MP had secretly recorded.
What makes this affair so troubling for the police service is less that individual officers may have lied – although that is clearly toxic in itself – but the suggestion that when entrusted with investigating wrong-doing, chief constables did not take appropriate action.
Now David Cameron and Theresa May have made statements deploring what appears to be a stitch up of Mitchell orchestrated by several police officers.
But it appears to me that Cameron is shedding crocodile tears. His behaviour during the whole episode has been rather half hearted. He asked a senior mandarin to investigate the whole incident but the subsequent probe was desultory and rather amateurish. Cameron knew of the CCTV evidence (subsequently used by Channel4 News to undermine the police case) yet did not choose to take it seriously.
As a comment on this post pointed out
Hmmm strange how it took that hotbed of left wing subversion C4news to go carefully through the CCTV footage, and those two well known lefties Jon Snow and Michael Crick to present it to the public and show that Mitchell was being stitched up. It does make you wonder why the Cabinet office and the PM in particular didn’t take the time to do exactly the same thing: I’m sure they must have been aware that the whole area was monitored by CCTV.
Something smells about this whole affair and it’s just not emanating from the boys in blue – it’s also coming out of Number 10 Downing Street