‘Half an apology’ from police reps on plebgate
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs select committee has just told me he’s asking the three West Midlands Police Federation officials who met Andrew Mitchell in Sutton Coldfield to come and “give a full explanation” as to what they did, and provide evidence helpful to the committee.
The three West Midlands Police Federation reps who have been accused of misleading – or lying – to the media after a meeting with Andrew Mitchell during the plebgate row last year have today issued an apology – or half an apology. This comes in advance of a major hearing by the Commons home affairs select committee on Wednesday.
The three Police Federation men – Inspector Ken MacKaill of West Mercia; Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton from Warwickshire, and Sergeant Chris Jones from West Midlands – today said they acknowledged the criticism of a recent inquiry by West Mercia police “relating to our poor judgement in talking to the media following the meeting with Andrew Mitchell, for which we take this opportunity to apologise.”
They continue: “We would like to emphasise (as we did to the investigation) that in no way did any of us ever plan or intend to mislead anyone about what occurred during this meeting or otherwise.”
Andrew Mitchell is currently in America. His team believes the Police Federation apology is half-hearted, and an attempt to dampen things down before Wednesday’s meeting at Westminster.
“It wasn’t their poor judgement in talking to the media,” one source told me, “but in not telling the truth. If Andrew hadn’t recorded the meeting they’d never have been caught out.”
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