Newspaper review: Papers reflect on 'plebgate' fallout


The fallout from the Andrew Mitchell "plebgate" row continues to feature prominently in many papers.

The Daily Mail and the Guardian both quote senior Conservatives who argue that the Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has been "completely compromised" over his response to the encounter in Downing Street between officers and Mr Mitchell.

The Mail claims that Mr Hogan-Howe "blindly accepted" the words of officers who accused the former chief whip of calling them plebs, something Mr Mitchell always denied.

The Independent says Mr Hogan-Howe faces accusations of "pre-judging" the Met's investigation into the affair.

The Times quotes Mr Mitchell as saying he considered emigration as he struggled to cope with the "tsunami of vitriol" that he says engulfed him.

Mr Hogan-Howe has promised a ruthless search for the truth about the row.

But the Times says the commissioner's real task is to rescue British policing from a "deep and corrosive crisis of public confidence in its integrity".


Widespread flooding across the country left motorists facing "terrifying conditions" on Sunday, the Mail says.

It describes how one woman, Vanessa Glover, clambered on to the roof of her car as it was carried down the swollen River Taw in Devon.

The paper says that rescuers were "gobsmacked" to find her still alive.

The Telegraph states more heavy rain is expected to sweep across the UK on Christmas Eve, bringing road and rail chaos.

It says more than 100,000 homes are at risk of flooding.

The Financial Times meanwhile warns that households are facing a fourth consecutive annual rise in insurance premiums as underwriters pass on the costs of claims from a year of floods.

The paper says the total bill for the insurers could reach £1bn.

'Queen of cool'

The Guardian reports that family judges in England fear being attacked by angry or disturbed parents, as security in court is often dangerously inadequate.

It says one female judge was seriously injured in an attack while others have been threatened and have had objects thrown at them.

A spokesman from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service said the issue of security within courts is taken extremely seriously and is constantly being monitored.

The Guardian, Times and Mail all feature front page photographs of the Queen in personalised 3D glasses.

The Mail explains that she was watching a preview of her Christmas message, which has been filmed in 3D for the first time.

It says she needed no persuasion to embrace new technology and describes her as "the Queen of cool".

The Times says the glasses worn by the Queen were her own, although a courtier turned them in to a work of royal bling by adding Swarovski crystals in the shape of a "Q" on the side.

Finally, the Telegraph claims that the average British family will have at least five rows on Christmas Day, with the first kicking off at 10:13.

The paper says a survey of 2,000 households suggests that almost 40% of children will complain about having the wrong present.

The most likely time for parents to bicker is between 13:00 and 15:00, because the father will be drunk and the mother will be stressed about the Christmas lunch, it reports.

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