Coffee House

Andrew Mitchell is still waiting for justice

12 September 2013

9:29 AM

12 September 2013

9:29 AM

A week ago next Thursday marks the first anniversary of the Curious Incident of the Chief Whip in the Night-time.

The chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, did nothing — or very little — in the night-time. That was the curious incident. There is not the slightest evidence that he called the policemen on the gates of Downing Street ‘plebs’; and this has now been admitted.


It is clear, with plenty of evidence on Channel 4 News, that some police, with some accomplices, spread a story against Mr Mitchell, possibly to protect themselves against an expected complaint from him after they refused to let him through the gates on his bicycle. As a result of what he did not say, Mr Mitchell was forced to resign.

A year on, he is still out of office, still waiting for the result of a police investigation into the police’s own behaviour. In January, the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said that charges would be laid before the end of the month, but still nothing has happened. Justice delayed, of course, is justice denied, which may be why the police are being so slow.

GoveThis is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.

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Show comments
  • Thomtids

    There is, also, the irritating fact that his Civil Claim is mired in interlocutory proceedings involving the application of the “Jackson Costs Review” and the draconian imposition of the action being as good as struck out for a modest breach by the Instructed solicitors of the judicially-imposed time frame and from which breach no prejudice to the Defendant – the Met’, arose. The Judge, at District Judge level effectively decided that Mitchell’s mates could either run the whole case free gratis to the Defendant ( generous to a fault!) or Mitchell can run it himself -(well I’m not offering to take it over under the same judicial cost limitation). Mitchell might yet throw in his hand, accept High Office as a peace offering, and sue the Profession in negligence instead. This is presently on Appeal, and might leap-frog the Circuit Judge and go straight to the Court of Appeal.

  • PeterR

    The time that it is taking to conduct an an investigations into the whole matter is undoubtedly a disgrace. Having said that Mitchell was a fool to get so worked-up about what was really a trivial matter – he seems to have gone looking for fight, and found it.

  • Jambo25

    Perhaps Mitchell will tell us exactly what he did say to those policemen then.

    • realfish

      He did, to the Police Federation reps in Sutton Coldfield…a conversation they denied they’d had, but unfortunately for them he recorded.

      That recording was played on C4.

      Do keep up.

      • Jambo25

        No, he never fully disclosed all that he had said to the 2 policemen. Only part of it. The C4 recording did not cover the whole event. Perhaps you should keep up.

  • Chartbury

    There’s no smoke without fire. The point is, Mitchell got himself into a situation that a scrupulous man would not.

    • ButcombeMan

      By approaching the gate on a bicycle?

    • John Clegg

      Ye Gods, what a comment! Perhaps he shouldn’t have approached the gate at all, would that satisfy you?

      • Chartbury

        Hmm, bit of an over-reaction there. Do calm down.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The police were well and truly politicised during New Labour’s Reign of Terror. Their new cultural marxist masters have abrogated one of the most basic and important of Peel’s Principles:-

    “The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives
    reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are
    the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give
    full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of
    community welfare and existence.”

    Well they are not the public now in their aggressively paramilitary overalls, balaclavas and door smashing gear. The respectable citizen’s inalienable right to self defence against the criminal and to have arms for self defence against the criminal have been usurped and the interest of community welfare and existence replaced by the interests of the state and the perceived need to control communities for the benefit of the state, whether that state is in Westminster or in Brussels.

    They have become, in effect, the armed wing of New Labour and the European Federal Project with its un-British Napoleonic code, something Cameron’s coalition has done absolutely nothing to rectify.

    • dmitri the impostor

      Alas, Colonel, one can envisage some fancy lawyer, possibly from Matrix Chambers, getting round that one by arguing that New Labour are no less than the political arm of the British people, so that the Peelite principle is vindicated after all. 😉

      • Colonel Mustard

        Blair indeed once asserted that New Labour were the political wing of nothing less than the British people as a whole, which when taken with their politicisation of the police confirms the National Socialist model they follow. Gonk-Boy’s current “one nation” bleat follows suit – one nation, one parteh, one leader.

    • John Clegg

      Well said, Sir. Spot on.

  • MirthaTidville

    Whatever the rights and wrongs lets not forget we are rid of a man who peed millions of our money down the `Foreign Aid` plughole and laughed while he was doing it…In the present climate its not suprising Dave doesn`t want him back..would you??

    • JabbaTheCat

      Beat me to it. Mitchell will not be missed…

      • wobble

        Quite, one less , and parliament’s all the better for it.!

    • Noa

      Quite right Mirtha.
      Let’s not forget that his last act as minister was to re-authorise a suspended £16 million gift to his friend, Paul Kagame’s government.
      Following his dismissal, Justine Greening again suspended this, subsequently releasing it through ‘humanitarian agencies’.

  • The_Missing_Think

    The sun is made of ice, repeat until true.

    The truth is, that all legal courts around the world, use chanted newspaper headlines to reach their verdicts, as it surpasses raw evidence in reliability.

    Of course, only nutjobs want concrete evidence, such as audio recordings, to determine what was said, clever people are satisfied with silent CCTV frames.

    • HookesLaw

      You are ignoring the complaint of a member of the ‘public’, which started the row, who turned out to be a policeman who was not even there. What weight do you give to that?

      All talk about Cameron arbitrarily taking Mitchell back also ignores the fact that Mitchell has written to the IPCC complaining about a leaked report so he is still deeply in dispute.

  • Jim Steed

    If Cameron really wanted him back in Government, he would have found a way. Somehow I think he doesn’t

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    All true but I suspect the silence from Cameron’s office over this one… then and now… tells the real story of a politician disliked by his party leader who will let this one slide if it means Mitchell remains on the back benches far and away from Downing Street…

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, they needed this dandy gone. They’re all stocked up on those, and this one’s very high maintenance and repellent.

    • HookesLaw

      On the other hand I suspect perhaps not…

  • Austin Barry

    From benign, fictional characters P.C. 49, through P.C. George Dixon and D.I. Jack Regan to reality’s tooled-up Thought Police thugs, the Force’s (sorry, Service’s) descent of the evolutionary ladder continues.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • Barakzai

      ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’

      Police and Crime Commissioners, supposedly. But already the common venality which infects so much of British public life has become quickly evident in these appointments. As most seem to be hacks of the main political parties, this is hardly surprising. We should return to independent-minded, fearless Chief Officers running things, you know, like Sir Norman Bettinson, Sir Paul Stephenson and Sir Ian Blair . . .

  • GUBU

    Officers are far too busy trawling Twitter and Facebook for hurtful comments, or investigating the sexual activities of light entertainers of yesteryear, to bother with this nonsense.

    Now move along Madam, nothing to see here…

    • Colonel Mustard

      Don’t blame the police for Starmer’s political agenda! They no longer have any discretion and are directed to prosecute by the cultural marxists in the CPS.

  • Bert

    and the mitia want more Tazers

    • wobble

      Its a pity they didn’t taser him, ……just for the entertainment value..!

  • Mynydd

    The only valid evidence is that presented in a court of law. Channel 4 news is not such a court of law. The media continually get it wrong, and have to pay out when taken to a court of law.
    ” Mr Mitchell was forced to resign” Not so, he was told by Mr Cameron, resign or I’ll sack you.
    “A year on, he is still out of office” No he is not, he is collects his salary and can perform his duties as an MP.
    “A year on, he is still out of office, still waiting for the result of a police investigation” he is not the only one, why should he go to the top of the list for such a minor matter of when a gate should be opened.
    “Justice delayed, of course, is justice denied” Just tell that to the TV star who was arrested two years ago, unable to work, and have just had his day in court. Every day were hear of arrests for serious offences, then nothing for years.
    If Mr Mitchell considers he has a strong case, and want it resolved quickly, why not take it to a civil court?

    • HookesLaw

      He is out of govt. Out of office. A poor attemt to deflect us from the truth.

      • Mynydd

        I don’t understand the system in other countries, here in Wales when I place my cross on the ballot paper I am voting for an MP. Again as I understand it, after the general election the Queen will ask the leader of the largest party to become her Prime Minister, with the instruction to form a government and allocate MPs to various ministries. This means that an MP is in government or out, is solely in the hands of the Prime Minister. However if a minister wants to resign the Prime Minister can either accept or reject it. Which ever way you look at it, Mr Mitchell will only return to government when Mr Cameron offers him a job. Until that happens Mr Mitchell must be contented with being common MP. It’s in the hands of Mr Cameron.

        • HookesLaw

          In order to offer anyone a job the PM has to sack someone else first.
          The police can officially clear his name if they actually get on and finish their enquiry.

          At the time Mitchell resigned, because of the whipped up furore and self serving attacks on him, orchestrated by a police plot, there was no evidence to contradict the prima facie case against him. We now (still) wait for the police to exonerate him.

          • Mynydd

            Where did this idea come from, “In order to offer anyone a job the PM has to sack someone else first” The PM can and does offer a job to anyone at any time.

          • ButcombeMan

            Oh but there was. There was the video and the provocative letter. As I said (regularly) here at the time, it was an obvious Metpol “verballing”. Ludicrously obvious.

            Heywood was just not up to investigating it. That is Cameron’s fault.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Could you please enlighten me as to what the substantial difference is between being forced to resign and being told to resign or be sacked?

  • Reconstruct

    If the police are prepared to conspire to bring down a minister, what else are they prepared to do?

    • HookesLaw

      You are correct – its very worrying.
      But bearing this in mind we need to look t the ‘hacking’ business. The NOTW was a labour supporting paper and owned by a labour supporting owner and close friend of Gordon Brown (their families had intimate parties together). The met were anxious to suck up to labour – the party in power and so dropped any further investigations into the ‘hacking’ affair.

      The Met has long standing leanings to the ;labour party and because of reforms to police pay and conditions and pensions it had an axe to grind with the coalition govt.

      • mikewaller

        The police have a much longer record of “fitting” people up. Some months ago Libby Purvis had a guest on Midweek who told a very amusing tale. He had been a publican in the East End for about 40 years and had just written a book about it. He said the “honourable” and longstanding practice of fitting up came badly unstuck as a result of the CND marches. The usual “creative” approach to filling out the charge sheet was unthinkingly applied to the sons and daughters of the middle and upper classes. Apparently mummy and daddy were not very happy about their precious young getting a criminal record and so hired top-flight lawyers. According to the publican, much of the “evidence” then evapourated much as does snow on a summer’s day.

      • JohnPReid

        Are you seriously saying the police were sucking up to labour, Thatcher have them so much resources it was unbelievable ,for them to do her dirty work

    • telemachus

      You all forget he is also reprted to have used the F word against these hard pressed public servants
      There are those who say he should have had a night in the cells

      • Reconstruct

        Hey Tele!
        I think you might just have outed yourself as a lurking right-wing provocateur seeing just how ludicrous he can be without getting called. Not biting.

        Like all the right-wing provocateurs over at CiF, where the joke is obviously to see how foamingly lefty you can be whilst still getting recommends. So far, no obvious limit over there. . . .

      • telemackus

        As usual you twist the truth for your own fascist ends and are flagrant with this country’s laws on defamation. Remember, you have been reported before and you had to retract, and I am writing to the good Mr Mitchell’s solicitors with a screenshot of your comment. You have been warned.

        • Wessex Man

          Can I come and live in your fluffy nice world or is it overcrowded with halfwits like you?

          • telemackus

            For the company of halfwits I come to this blog to read the comments of my namesake and you. For intelligent people I visit the Beano.

            • HookesLaw

              Perhaps we should rechristen Balls’ views ‘Beanomics’?

            • Wessex Man

              Of course, how silly of me, The Bash Street Kids of the Shadow Cabinet, Dennis the Menace Miliband and Gnasher Balls-up. It’s been stareing me in the face all this time and I couldn’t figure out where the Milimates got their material from!!!!

      • HookesLaw

        Hard pressed public servants? They were nothing more than ceremonial doormen. And as I recall he did not swear at or against them.

        • Jimmy R

          He openly admitted he swore at them, what he denied was that he called them “plebs”. The truth is that, apart from the three people involved nobody knows exactly what was or was not said because, although there is CCTV camera footage there is no sound record of what occurred. The main part of the enquiry by the Met, and presumably also the IPCC, is about what other supposed witnesses, not Mitchell and the two officers, claimed to have seen and heard and the subsequent emails sent by people claiming to be witnesses who, it would appear, were not there.
          I have no idea why the enquiry has lasted so long but, if the Government were concerned about the delay, I’m sure the Home Secretary would be able to ensure it was not being deliberately dragged out, after all she is the one with ultimate responsibility for the police and especially the Met.

        • Chartbury

          I can see that you’re exactly the type of person who insults the doorman.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Yeah, there are those who think Stalin was someone to admire too.

        No great recommendation coming from your keyboard.

    • Chartbury

      I expect you’re all frightened of being abducted by aliens, too.

      • Thomtids

        I thought we had been!

  • dalai guevara

    So are the populace with regards to security advisers in Bahrain, CNN chat show hosts, and gambling banksters.