'Plebgate' fake evidence claims 'serious': No 10

Downing Street on Wednesday said reports that a police officer posed as a member of the public and fabricated evidence which led to the resignation of chief whip Andrew Mitchell were “exceptionally serious.”

Mitchell quit in October amid accusations he had sworn at an officer and called him a “pleb” during a row over the minister’s use of the main Downing Street gate.

But footage obtained by Dispatches and Channel 4 News appears to show no evidence of an angry or lengthy disagreement between Mitchell and the two officers guarding the gate.

Mitchell insisted in a letter to David Cameron that he had not used the words “pleb” or “moron” but admitted swearing at the officer.

A police officer who claimed to have seen the incident was arrested at the weekend on suspicion of committing misconduct in a public office and the force is investigating whether he leaked the story to a newspaper.

“Any allegations that a serving police officer posed as a member of the public and fabricated evidence against a cabinet minister are exceptionally serious,” a Number 10 spokesman said.

“It is therefore essential that the police get to the bottom of this as a matter of urgency.”

Mitchell later called for a full inquiry into the incident.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has insisted he has seen no evidence to contradict the account of officers who were there.

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