Coffee House

We may soon know the truth about the Andrew Mitchell incident

19 December 2012

7:55 PM

19 December 2012

7:55 PM

The plot is rapidly thickening around the whole Andrew Mitchell and police incident. By the end of this matter, I suspect several reputations will have been severely damaged.

The email allegedly sent by a police officer, who was posing as a member of the public and an eyewitness to the incident, to his local MP John Randall is a quite remarkable document. It is well worth reading in full just to see the level of detail involved.

Those close to Mitchell stress that he is more interested in clearing his name rather than returning to the Cabinet or seeking legal redress. But I understand that this whole scandal might well reach a denouement quicker than anyone currently expects. We may soon find out what was actually said when the then Chief Whip attempted to leave Downing Street through the main gate back on the 19th of September.

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Show comments
  • Simon Fay

    That email/letter reads like a Harry Enfield comical foreigner.

  • Bert

    In my opinion, this and incidents like the McAlpine stitch up seem like time bombs left by the previous PM and his minions. Even more likely as they eventually backfire.

  • Paddy

    Perhaps this will make the Tories wake-up to the threat from the Left.

    I can’t believe they are so wet behind the ears they can’t see what is happening here.

    It’s taken Michael Crick to expose. What has happened to all you other investigative journalists.

    Has anyone seen Watson? Still keeping his head down.

  • Davidh

    So who tracked down the sender of this email? He can’t have been dumb enough to send an email with a fake eyewitness account giving his own name, email address or telephone number, surely. Was he tracked through his IP / internet service provider which would require a police request? He’d still be pretty stupid to send such an email from his home or his office computer. Especially if he’s a police officer and knows something about investigations. And then how did Crick get in touch with him? And why wasn’t he contacted back in September to confirm his report?

    Maybe things will become clearer…

    • Andy

      He is a serving Police Officer, so you can assume a large degree of stupidity. He used his real name and sent it from his home address as a ‘member of the public’. He would not be that hard to find: checking the electoral role would have narrowed the search.

      The Cabinet Secretary looked at this in September, but he is obviously about as much use as a chocolate tea pot. He missed the huge crowds gathered at the Downing Street Gates who witnessed these ‘events’.

      • Davidh

        OK – he was dumb enough…

  • Hugh

    Do MPs often receive letters that begin, “I believe you are a man of the highest integrity who truly does believe in the welfare of his constituents.”?

    Surely that alone should has sent alarm bells ringing.

  • roger

    Some people are starting to remember what being ‘verballed’ by the filth used to be about. I’m waiting for the ‘Andrew Mitchell is innocent , O.K.’ posters to go up.

  • kyalami

    One thing revealed in the email is the staggering level of illiteracy of its author.

    When this issue first came to light it seemed to me that Mitchell should resign, if only because he was dominating bad headlines for the government. I would hope that the gate police officers are suspended pending analysis of the accuracy of their statements.

  • HellforLeather

    The blog author wrote: “We may soon know the truth about the Andrew Mitchell incident”.

    How insightful.

    Considering his blog was posted at 19.55 on December 19, with Bernard Hogan Howe having said on BBC Radio 4 early on December 18, that he expected the police inquiry to produce a result before Christmas. Hey, the Met let that out the bag more than 30 hours before this earth-shattering headline.

  • HooksLaw

    A 76 year old man was arrested in a dawn raid today. Maybe he deserved it.

    When will the police federation offices be raided in a dawn raid. When will police federation computers be confiscated?

  • HooksLaw

    Am I right in thinking that Mitchell was replaced as whip by the bicycling baronet?

  • Mark Willis

    If anything it goes to illustrate that police budgets do indeed warrant a cut and their processes and procedures need a good VfM review if it’s going to take 30 officers to investigate what did or didnt happen when one man on a cycle was denied access through a gate!

    • kyalami

      Yes, this is astonishing. Almost as astonishing as the staggeringly poor grammar and spelling in the email.

      • Andy

        You forget that the idiot is a Policeman.

  • Andrew Taylor

    I was unfortunate enough to be listening to Vine’s programme on Radio 2 today. He discussed this story with a couple of people who apparently had some connection with the police. Lot’s of, “well, let’s see what comes of the investigation but we mustn’t forget that he said a rude word to a policeman and he should be hung drawn and quartered for that…. and…. the Commissioner is still saying that he has faith in the integrity of the officers who were on duty at the gate that night. This proves they are in the right”. Give me strength!!!

    We need a touch of coffee smelling here. The CCTV coverage clearly shows the officers on the gate seem to be, er, flexible with the truth as there are significant differences between their log and the visual reality. These officers never expected this situation to go this far and certainly never expected anyone to carry out an in depth investigation into the events of the evening. But courtesy of Moribund’s and the press’ shit stiring, everything got out of hand very quickly. Liebour smelled a story which supported their class warfare approach to things and got stuck in. The baying pack of the 4th Estate, particularly Aunty Beeb, dutifully picked up the baton.

    Mitchell may be an insensitive, toffy-nosed prat but I’d wager that he has more integrity in his little finger than some of the people who got involved in the blood lust that brought him down. The two coppers are going to end up as collateral damage because they sauced up their account; maybe for a laugh, maybe for prophylatic reasons, or maybe both. There aren’t many coppers who don’t swear either, so all this nonsense about Mitchell behaving in a manner which could have seen him arrested is just bunkum. Any officer who felt the need to arrest anyone for what Mitchell said should not be a policeman – they would only be on the street in somewhere like Tottenham about 30 seconds before they were back in the canteen writing up the report in their pocket book about the bloke they had just bunged in the cells for swearing. And that is no way for a police officer to be spending his time!

    • LB

      You won’t get a prosecution for swearing at the police.

      Case law says it won’t work

      • salieri

        True: which is why there had to be innocent bystanders who felt insulted, distressed or distressed, to make out grounds for a public order offence. It’s an infamous category of crime and it never ceases to amaze me how the police always seem to find people on hand who were visibly shocked, upset or threatened. Even if they didn’t know they were.

        The other point that wasn’t made nearly enough of at the time was the silliness of all the references (notably the Beeb’s) to the official ‘police log’, as if it were a form of Holy Writ. A police log can never be more reliable than the information that it reproduces – not records, but replicates – and in this case the ‘evidence’ that never was.

  • HooksLaw

    You little tease.

    • Malfleur

      Is HookLaw (alias Stephen Robinson…?) allowed to down-vote as part of his relationship with the Spectator who has banned down-voting except to those who “sign in”? “Sign in” not apparently the same as “register” to comment…What a travesty of conservatism this magazine has become under the Barclays and their intellectual catemites!

  • Coffeehousewall

    Will the Spectator now spend some time considering the case of Stephen Lennon, which also looks like it is a stitch-up by persons unknown.

    • HooksLaw

      Sod off.

      • Malfleur

        Usual charmer with the Ed Balls touch. How is this contributing to the debate? Oh! it’s not! Alright then, carry on sodding.

    • ToryOAP

      Please give it a rest FFS Peter. You are starting to sound like tellymucktwat. Don’t complain about the trolls and then start trolling on a single issue when the comments are about something else, especially as important as the subourning of our government by the police. You have made your point but this is no way for a good right-winger to behave.

      • Malfleur

        Why am I not allowed to down-vote this dinosaur? Someone has something to hide.

    • Chris not abuse the welcome

      • Malfleur

        We are only allowed to vote for this enemy of free speech? Why is that?

  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    Where’s Teletubby?

    • Julian F

      He’s having to re-assess his entire world-view, having realised that his left-wing hero Ed Balls is possibly the most pro-Israel senior politician active today in the UK. Holders of received opinion find nuances like this tough to deal with.

  • toco10

    And hopefully the rich and spoilt brat that is Red Ed will suffer for his hate filled comments both inside but far more importantly outside Parliament.Go for it Andrew!

  • Andy

    We already have enough to be going on with.

    The Police Officers on duty made a false and entirely untrue entry in the Downing Street Security Log. They should be dismissed immediately.

    Either one of these Police Officers, or an officer associated with them, or an officer having access to the relevant log deliberately leaked this document to the Press. That is an offence. They should be dismissed immediately.

    A Police Officer, posing as a member of the general public, claimed to have witnessed the incident. He did no such thing: He was not even there. For such simple dishonesty he should be dismissed at once.
    This same Police Officer wrote a libellous email to a Member of Parliament making untrue and libellous statements about a Member of Parliament. He should be sued for libel by that Member of Parliament. He should be dismissed immediately.

    Bernard Hogan Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, stated today that the CCTV footage did not material alter the facts given by the Police Officers. He is wrong. The CCTV footage does contradict large parts of the account given by the Police Officers involved. Perhaps he should consider his position.

    The Commissioner might also care to explain to we members of the general public, who pay his bloody wages, why it is that the Police Officers in the Diplomatic Protection Squad, who are on duty at Downing Street, are so dishonest and incompetent.

    • LB

      Police Officers in the Diplomatic Protection Squad, who are on duty at Downing Street, are so dishonest and incompetent.


      I tend to agree. I made a complaint about one of them after their aggressive driving.

      For some reason, the Met cannot find a single working CCTV camera on Constitution Hill. If you don’t know where that is, I suggest you Google it. Look at who lives next door.

      • Andy

        I know where Constitution Hill is and the place is awash with security cameras, certainly within the grounds of the Palace. There you might have a problem because I would assume that those cameras would not be under the control of the ‘Met’ but the Crown.

        • LB

          Some are the Palaces. None were working. The Met ones, none were working either. Now I counted 28 of them.

          So either its a prime target left undefended, or some of those PPS and professional standards in the Met are lying and covering up.

          I know which one I would guess as being right.

  • biggestaspidistra

    you are such an establishment lackey James Forsyth.

  • McRobbie

    I do hope that the truth comes out, however the police are very good at cover ups… the word of 2 upright officers against a tory (spit when you say it) politician is no contest as far as the police federation and other lefties are concerned. I trust the chief of the police federation will be asked to explain why he attacked mitchell after their meeting as having “not given a full account for the events” when he clearly had, and had recorded same. Suggests that if there was conspiracy the police federation may have their hands and log books dirty.

    • HooksLaw

      ‘ the police are very good at cover ups’ … I very much hope they are not and do not need to be.
      If this can happen in dealing with people in high places, well how might they behave towards newspaper editors who have embarrassed them?

      I only ask…

  • ButcombeMan


    With 30 of NSYs finest on the job. I hope you are right, I fear you may be wrong.

    They will tearing the arse out of the overtime because of political senitivity and BHHs personal vulnerability. (For milseading the public and him and his (mis) managemnt team not sorting out the leak sooner).

  • ButcombeMan


    With 30 of NSYs finest on the case? I hope you are right, I fear you may be wrong

    They will be tearing the arse out of the overtime because of the political significance and BHHs personal vulnerability. (because he misled the wider public and also because he and his (mis) management team did not sort the leaker (s) out, much much sooner).

    Above all, BHH must come out smelling of roses. Otherwise it may be Michael Crick for Commissioner?

    • HooksLaw

      Well ‘a’ Police and Crime Commissioner. What a good idea that seems now.

  • anyfool

    Lets hope that Mitchel sues and pushes for very costly payouts by all, hopefully they will be some Labour MPs in the mix.
    The police are an arm of the left nowadays, but then again so is the judiciary, so it is doubtful that he will get a fair crack of the whip.

    • simosim

      That’s just a paranoid joke; the Police are attacked by all sides.

      • LB

        Partly. However, they tend to do a lot to encourage it.

        The problem for the Police is the only time you can get them to do something, is when they have done something wrong.

    • TomTom

      No. I don’t want him to sue. I want a proper Investigation by the IPCC together with an Independent Firm of Lawyers – say Bindmanns and let us have a thorough investigation of the Met and its activities – a politician should represent the public and it is the public that suffers from police behaviour without any recourse……at least it has not been a Hillsborough Wait

  • kidmugsy

    I must admit that I was taken in by this police conspiracy. I’d like to know now whether the three bent bobbies had some role in the Police Federation. And whether the whole job started as an improvisation that evening or was plotted in advance.

    • HooksLaw

      You would think it started as an improvisation. Its plausible that they blocked his way and hoped for the best I suppose.

    • GaryEssex

      I also believe that the Police Federation, or some of its members, is involved in some way. Remember how the Federation was so keen to see Mitchell axed.
      But what was the motive as Andrew Mitchell had no direct involvement in police matters? Any ideas?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    You don’t have to wait for the truth, it’s right there in that photograph. Anybody caught riding that bicycle/basket combo while wearing a pink tie is surely a tosspot.

    • Mr.D.Advocate

      He may be a tosspot in person (being a Whip after all) but it would nice if he was sacked for his actual tosspottery instead of some cooked up tosspottery by a probable left wing union conspiracy. Who’s now going to refund all the ‘I’m a pleb’ conference T-shirt printing costs?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Put the T-shirts into storage, for future. When this tosspot gets back in the chamber, it’s only a matter of time before he blasts the plebs on tape again.

        • HooksLaw

          You are a thick arse.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Ironic, coming from you.

  • 2trueblue

    It is not going to compensate for Mitchell losing his post.

  • grammarschoolman

    This man should be sacked for his spelling and grammar, never mind his honesty. ‘Digesting behaviour’, indeed…

    • Stranger

      You raise a very good point as regards the English which is so bad its seems implausible, even deliberately so, even by today’s standards.

      • TomTom

        No. Not in the Police which is highly paid for poor education especially at lower levels….unbelievable really

      • TomTom

        I wonder if it is like the Police in Atlanta, GA where researchers were stunned at how many had convictions…..they are flexible on so many tings in “diverse” Britain so don’t be surprised what comes out

    • Andrew Taylor

      The man is clearly a moron. Let’s hope that he sees the sites of an employment office in the near future. He is supposed to be catching crooks, not being one.

      • Ian Walker

        Bet you a tenner that he ends up working ‘in an advisory role’ for the Police Federation, for a nice little stipend.

    • Thick as two Plancks

      Not just the spelling but the “cut and paste” flavour of the complete email.

  • ToryOAP

    Mr reading of this? Collusion between the coppers on the gate with the ‘witness’ and falsified logs. Egg on the faces of most of the MSM, bloggers, trolls here and the oposition front bench and a few twitching bottoms when Mitchell starts libel actions. Heads rolling in the Met and the Police Federation and a review of political corruption in the police force. The British place fairness above all values and this deliberate framing of an innocent man is beyond the pale.

    • LB

      And why are you surprised? I’ve no doubt its been going on for years.

      What’s changed is technology. The state’s been using it on us for years. Now the table gets turned and they can’t handle what they have been giving out.

      Roll on the first mobile that records all calls. Legal for you to record your calls without telling others. [Often confused with A recording a call between B and C without their knowledge – that’s illegal]. Major changes to divorce, interactions between us and the state, and us and companies. With the evidence they can’t do much.

      Ditto for cameras.

      • ToryOAP

        I am not surprised. The police in this country no longer serve the people but themselves. They murder innocent news vendors and Brazillian students and lie about their actions with apparent impunity, They cover up their inadequate actions at massacres at football matches and they have become totally (left-wing) politicised. They focus on arresting victims and persecuting motorists and have become nothing less than an alien, occupying militia with their guns, stab vests and arrogant, uncaring ‘move on I’ll arrest you’ attitude to the public. I despise them and their leadership as much as I hate Blair, Brown, Balls, Milliband and their trolling supporters who infest these pages.

        • LB

          Of course. They are out for self interest, and they will screw the sheep to get it.

          Now here’s one for you.

          Fraud my misrepresentation.

          Read that and digest it.

          Now, tax revenues are 0.55 trillion. Spending is 0.73 trillion. Borrowing, not debt, 1.1 trillion.

          What’s missing from the debts? The big question.

          Try this link.

 Page 4

          4.7 trillion of state pension debts, hidden off the books.

          The only schadenfreude part is that the civil servants, the police etc, are going to be screwed even more than the rest of us. Will they pay themselves their millions of pensions, whilst not paying the state pension to the masses? It’s a fraud.

          Of course the police could take action, but I doubt they will, so they only have themselves to blame.

          • HooksLaw

            There are no pension debts and no matter how many times you repeat it does not make it true. How do you have a debt which involves money that has not been spent?

            Tell me – if there ARE 4.7 trillion of debts, where do you think all this money should come from to balance the books? This 4.7 trillion of money that has not been spent yet – where does money come from to cover money that has not been spent??

            • LB

              You’ve just contradicted yourself. You’ve said the civil service is a pension?

              So lets apply your argument about Gilts. Future debt payments aren’t spending on servicing the debt, so that means we don’t owe anyone any money for the borrowing? Nah, doesn’t work that way.

              The pension debts are debts, because when you apply GAAP and FRS17 accounting standards, they are a debt. It’s only by coming up with accounting rules that the state has hidden the debt. That makes it a fraud.

              • HooksLaw

                I’ve said the civil service is a pension? What sort of English is that? How is money not yet spent a debt?

                Public sector pensions are a contributory pension scheme. The ‘old age’ pension is not. A woman for instance may never work, be married for 50 years, be a good housewife and still receive an old age pension.

                You can speculate all you like about pension liabilities. You do not make any suggestion of what should be set aside to balance your books over these speculative liabilities. noe do you suggest how much this would cost the exchequer in terms of lost revenue and hence increased debt.

                • LB

                  There is a difference between future spending, where its optional. The government doesn’t have to spend on overseas aid. That’s clearly future spending.

                  However, the civil service pension is a contract. It’s a liability or debt that is due to be paid. Under all the accounting standards, its a debt.

                  The problem is that this ‘future spending’ as you put it, on the borrowing, the pensions payouts, is money that isn’t going on services. It’s past services and past borrowing.

                  e.g The state pension is just another form of borrowing. Take money from people, and promise future payouts. Borrow money form people and promise future payouts. Quack – passes the duck test.

                  If you think this is strange, send me money for your pension. I’ll use government accounting. ie. It’s not a debt, so I don’t have to pay you back? Are you prepared to do that? Hmm I think not.

                  Similarly, what if you bank works that way? Take money from you, spends it, and when you want it back says we don’t owe you anything, we’ve change to government accounting. I suspect you might be a little miffed.

                  The ways that debts/liabilities can be built up is as follows.

                  1. Borrowing.

                  2. Deferred pay – civil service pensions.

                  3. Payments up front for later services.

                  4. Expected losses – for example, if you insure houses, you expect a certain percentage to be burnt down. That expected payout is a liability.

                  This is all accounting 101 by the way.

                  The government only does point 1, contrary to the accounting standards it professes to ‘aspire to’. The reason is that if it properly accounted for its debts, people would tweak to the consequences.


                  You can speculate all you like about pension liabilities. You do not make any suggestion of what should be set aside to balance your books over these speculative liabilities. noe do you suggest how much this would cost the exchequer in terms of lost revenue and hence increased debt.


                  I don’t. There is a good reason for this. The debts are so large, that the state cannot extract enough cash to pay them off.

                  1.1 trillion – borrowing
                  0.4 trillion – PFI (off the books)
                  4.7 trillion – pensions (off the books, fiddled down)
                  0.1 trillion – nuclear decommissioning (paid for up front)
                  Expected losses on insurance on top

                  They are around 14 times geared by my calculations. ie. Debts / taxes.

                  On top they are spending 130% of taxes each year, now.

                  There is no way they can pay that.

                  So you’re question assumes that the debts can be paid, and asks what would it cost.

                  It’s a bit different, the debts can’t be paid in full, so the question needs to be who will get hit by the default. That default can either be partial or full.

                  For example, there was a contract about retiring at 65, with an RPI linked pension. That’s been broken and now its 67, with CPI. The later knocks 20% off the payouts.

                  PS, the 4,7 trillion is an underestimate because, in part, the ONS assumes that the Bank of England won’t control inflation.

            • Bob339

              At last! Someone who actually thinks! It is the banks who lend us money to give back to them and thus fuel inflation.

              • LB

                Hold on. Government cash, QE goes to the banks. That money then comes back as Gilts to fund the deficit, because Vince Cable and the muppet chancellor insist on changing capital ratios.

                It’s inflationary, but its not the banks. It’s the state printing to spend, but because of embarrassment reasons, needs to hide the fact.

          • HooksLaw

            Keep repeating rubbish does not make it true.

            How can you have a debt for money not spent yet?
            If this really were a debt then tell us where the money would come from to cover it to balance the books. Balance for money not spent yet.

            • LB

              There are contributions. It’s called national insurance.

              You can find out how much is owed to you by looking at the details on this web site


              You’re entitlement is built up by making payments.

              You can make voluntary payments to get more years.

              It’s a debt since its based on contributions.

              At the end of the day, its 4,700,000 million pounds Or 4,700 billion.

              How many billionaires are there in the UK where you could wealth tax the lot of them to pay? Ah, the problem is that there aren’t more than a handful.

              There aren’t enough people to pay what has been promised.

              Remember too, that if you were are median wage earner, and put your NI into the FTSE, you would have 5 times the state pension.

              They can’t even afford the 20p in the pound they do pay out.

            • LB

              Yep, and its still not going to be enough. You’re contributions to get your state pension have been spent. So expect more defaults on the contract.

              e.g Did the civil servants have a say in the change to their contract? Nope. Imposed.

        • HooksLaw

          The fact that you can turn around and say this (not completely fairly I think) is none the less why this event is so devastating.
          I sincerely hope this is an off the cuff one off horrible incident. however I fear there is more to it.

          In one sense I hope no one is really paying attention, because this is a shocking indictment of the police, their political activism and general group mindset and has potential to totally undermine the rule of law. I think its that bad and a very much hope I am wrong.

          • LB

            PS, It’s Hooke’s law. Robert Hooke used an e at the end of his name.

            The original Hooke was a genius in my books, outranking Galileo.

            • HooksLaw

              Yes I know.
              No don’t think he was a genius, which is not to belittle hm, far from it. But he was quite one of the most remarkable men our nation has produced.

              • LB

                Look at any book on mechanical devices, and see who was responsible. A huge number down to him. Micrographia – look at the flea and an electron microscope image.

                Rebuilding London post fire? Up there with Wren. Then his output in Gresham Street. …

        • Dicky14

          Steady on son, coppers are alreet. Ain’t arming teachers yet. Watson has to be involved somewhere or maybe wee Dooogie Alexander.

        • DrCoxon

          I agree. My parents and grandfathers were in the police. I think that they would be dismayed by recent events.

    • 2trueblue

      Why hasn’t the footage been scrutinised in greater detail prior to this. It seems clear that the dialogue can not have fitted the very brief encounter that had taken place. Amazing how long it has taken to get to this point.

    • HooksLaw

      Miliband plastered the accusations as ‘fact’ all across the commons and the labour party conference and everywhere else. This despite a fellow ‘honourable member’ having denied it categorically. Ultimately Miliband is all smear. All mouth and no trousers.

    • Peter Martin

      ‘framing of an innocent man is beyond the pale’ – As you mention only the MSM, I assume this to be why you avoided adding ‘again’?

      I am rather resigned to only Dad’s Army on what is left in the kitty, so the test card is not much more of a stretch.