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.

Tags: Andrew Mitchell, UK politics