UK & World News
No Police Investigation Into Mitchell Row
The Metropolitan Police has said it will not investigate Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's row with an officer after he issued a public apology.
Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Police Commissioner, and Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood agreed there would be no investigation after the officers involved did not complain about language used during the row.
In a letter to shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper MP, who called for a full inquiry into claims Mr Mitchell called officers "plebs" and swore at them, Sir Jeremy said a "genuine difference" over what was said remained.
He added: "Andrew Mitchell has acknowledged that his words and behaviour were inappropriate and he failed to show proper respect for the police.
"He then phoned the police officer in question to apologise personally and he has since reiterated his apology in public. The officer has accepted his apology.
"In the light of the apology given, and also the fact that the officer concerned has accepted the apology and does not wish to pursue the matter further, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner reiterated that no further action would be taken."
It comes after Prime Minister David Cameron also rejected calls for an inquiry.
Mr Cameron's spokesman said the PM feels a line should now be drawn under the affair after Mr Mitchell apologised for a second time on Monday morning.
The senior Tory, speaking live on Sky News, denied calling police "plebs" but refused to clarify exactly what words he did use in the rant last Wednesday.
According to an official report of the clash, revealed in The Sun, Mr Mitchell did use the word and repeatedly swore at the officer.
But Mr Mitchell insisted: "I am very clear about what I said and what I didn't say and I want to make it absolutely clear that I did not use the words attributed to me."
In the rest of his statement, he said: "I want to reiterate the apology I made last week after the incident on Wednesday night in Downing Street.
"It had been the end of a long and extremely frustrating day, not that that is any excuse at all for what happened. I didn't show the police the amount of respect I should have done.
"We should all respect the police, they do an incredibly difficult job. I have apologised to the police I have apologised to the police officer involved on the gate and he has accepted my apology and I hope we can draw a line under it there."
The Sun said it stands by its story on the official report, in which it was claimed Mr Mitchell told police: "Best you learn your f****** place. You don't run this f****** Government. You're f****** plebs."
The police officer involved wrote up a report for his superiors hours after the politician allegedly told him: "You haven't heard the last of this," according to the paper.
Mr Mitchell's statement on Monday came shortly after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told Sky he believed Mr Mitchell should "fully explain himself" in the wake of the fresh revelations.
And Labour MP Bill Esterson has written to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Sir John Lyon, demanding he investigate whether Mr Mitchell broke the MPs' code of conduct.
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully said: "This debacle is moving very quickly now because clearly Mr Mitchell is denying using certain words and effectively impugning the integrity of the police officers.
"I think that is very serious and I think the Prime Minister or Downing Street officials should hold an inquiry and, if Mr Mitchell is proved to have lied, he should be sacked."
However, Mr Cameron's spokesman made clear that the Prime Minister is rejecting calls for an inquiry.
"The Prime Minister is satisfied the right action has been taken. A line should now be drawn under the matter," he said.
Mr Cameron said last week that the Chief Whip's comments were wrong and welcomed his apology but made no comment about calls for him to be sacked.
The row last week was made public by The Sun on the day Mr Cameron went to Manchester to pay his respects to two policewomen who were shot dead in Manchester.