The Andrew Mitchell saga is taking some very unusual twists. It has already embroiled Number Ten as he was after all the Chief Whip who the PM was forced to sack. Now the Chief of the Met, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, is also getting embroiled as he has entered the fray by supporting the original statements of the police officers who were allegedly threatened by the former Chief Whip.
The whole affair is becoming so convoluted that it is difficult to know who to believe and who the public can trust? Clearly a police officer has apparently committed a misdemeanour by claiming to be a member of the public and penning a false witness statement. Why would he do that?
But then there was CCTV evidence that has subsequently emerged on news programmes showing quite clearly that there were no 'visibly shocked' members of the public witnessing the confrontation between Mitchell and the police at the gates of Downing Street. So the original log written by the officers concerned, supported by the Met Commissioner, was also false.
Why has it taken so long for the CCTV evidence to emerge? Surely that would have been the first evidence to be scrutinised? Perhaps it was and the PM has known all along that the police statements were false. Have the politicians been playing a waiting game hoping to flush out members of the Met who were stitching up the politicians?
Whatever the facts something is amiss. Apparently the Cabinet Secretary investigated the incident albeit, in hindsight, not very thoroughly. I have no sympathy for Andrew Mitchell because I remember his performance as International Development Minister and anyone who loses his temper so readily that he swears at the police has no right to high office but who is behind the campaign being waged by the MET?
Recent events seem to suggest that the top brass at the Met appear to be very 'accident prone' and the the Police Federation made huge capital out of the incident. So the issue appears not to be 'who is telling the truth' but more about 'is anyone telling the truth'. It does not surprise me that so many organisations so expertly infiltrated by Common Purpose are now in disarray. It is nothing short of shocking!