'Plebgate' police officer faces misconduct charge

Andrew Mitchell The plebgate incident happened when cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell was stopped from cycling through Downing Street's main gates

A police officer has appeared in court charged with misconduct in a public office, accused of falsely claiming to have witnessed the "plebgate" incident.

The row between former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell and police officers at the gates of Downing Street took place on 19 September 2012.

PC Keith Wallis,53, did not enter a plea at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

PC Wallis, of the Met police diplomatic protection group, will appear at Southwark Crown Court on 3 January.

Wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a dark tie, PC Wallis spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth at a brief hearing.

He is facing claims he sent an email to Conservative deputy chief whip John Randall, who was his MP, wrongly claiming that he had seen the "plebgate" incident in Downing Street.

Plebgate is the name given by the media to the dispute which began when Mr Mitchell, the then chief whip, was stopped from cycling through Downing Street's gates by another police officer.

Mr Mitchell admits swearing during the incident but denies it was directed at the officers or that he called them plebs.

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