UK ex-minister complains against Scotland Yard



London: Former British minister Andrew Mitchell has lodged a complaint against the Scotland Yard over its handling of the 'plebgate' row, accusing them of leaking information to the media.

Days after he decided to sue 'The Sun' over reports by the tabloid claiming that he called police officers "plebs" during a heated altercation at the gates of Downing Street, the senior Conservative party politician has claimed that Metropolitan police has deliberately leaked information to the media.

Mitchell, who was forced to resign as government chief whip following the allegations last September, accuses the police of a "dishonest and illicit attempt to blacken my name and destroy my career" in a letter written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

"We are deeply dismayed that the Metropolitan police appear to have leaked part of their report prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to certain members of the press and spun it to the advantage of the police officers involved. It would appear that this police enquiry continues precisely that process,? he wrote in his letter to IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass."

Mitchell wrote this letter after recent newspaper reports suggested a police file passed to the CPS contained no evidence that officers lied about his behaviour.

Scotland Yard has been trying to ascertain how some newspapers obtained information about the 'plebgate' row and if it came from the police.

Three officers from the diplomatic protection group have so far been arrested as part of the investigation and remain suspended.

Mitchell admits he had an ill-tempered argument with police officers at the gates to Downing Street in September last year, when they wouldn't let him ride his bike through the main gate. The following day, 'The Sun' reported that in an abusive rant, he called the officers "plebs", a word Mitchell insists he did not use.

A spokesman for the Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid, however, has said that it stands by the story and will "defend this claim vigorously".

Following Mitchell's IPCC complaint, a spokesperson said "our inquiries continue", adding that a report has been sent to the CPS, along with a copy to the IPCC, which is supervising the investigation.

PTI