Email shows 'plebgate was premeditated' - MP
A leaked police email written the night before the "plebgate" incident shows the confrontation was premeditated by officers who wanted their seniors to support their case, Tory MP David Davis has claimed.
The email, obtained by the Times newspaper, was written by a constable seeking advice from superiors on how to handle the ex-cabinet minister's apparent insistence on cycling through the Downing Street gates.
It was written on September 19, the night before the incident, and suggests that Mr Mitchell had previous disagreements with officers over the issue.
In a debate on 13 February 2014, Mr Davis said the email "undermines the police case" and backs up claims made by an anonymous whistleblower that the dispute was premeditated.
Mr Mitchell quit the government over the altercation after it was reported he had repeatedly sworn at officers and called them "plebs" - a claim he has always denied.
Evidence subsequently emerged casting doubt on the police version and last week a serving officer was jailed for fabricating an account of the incident.
Keith Vaz, the Labour chair of the Home Affairs Committee, said Mr Mitchell - who was present in the debate - had been "vindicated".
He said it was important that "a line is now drawn and people move on for the sake of himself, his family and the reputation of the police as a whole".
Labour's Tottenham MP, David Lammy, said to see officers "so blatantly tell mistruths, to so blatantly refuse to apologise about a cabinet minister… must tell you something about a culture of impunity that has become endemic in the system".
MPs were taking part in a debate on reform of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers.
A recent independent review, conducted by Sir David Normington, found that "fundamental reform of the federation's culture, behaviours, structures and organisation" was needed to make it once again "the trusted voice of frontline officers".
The Home Affairs Committee will hold an inquiry into the Police Federation, which will look at its leadership at national and regional level, as well as its spending and use of public money.
The backbench business motion, which called on the government to implement the report's recommendations, was passed unopposed at the end of the debate.