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'Plebgate' email published

'Plebgate' email published
The email at the centre of claims against Andrew Mitchell has been published tonight.

The message, which purported to be from a passerby, is thought to be by an off-duty police officer who sent it to Deputy Chief Whip John Randall. The Metropolitan Police has now assigned 30 officers to determined what in fact occured when Mr Mitchell was alleged to have called Downing Street police officer "plebs".

Channel 4 News published the email on the day that David Cameron voiced concern over the attempt to 'blacken the name' of his former Chief Whip.

Mr Cameron said that while it was right to pay tribute to the police, "a police officer posing as a member of the public and sending an email to potentially blacken the name of a Cabinet minister is a very serious issue".

He added: "The Metropolitan Police Service is conducting a thorough and well-resourced investigation to get to the truth of this matter as quickly as possible. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will be supervising the investigation and I think we should allow them to get to the truth."

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said today: "Number 10 has been in regular touch with Andrew Mitchell in recent weeks." He confirmed that CCTV footage of the alleged altercation was released to Mr Mitchell: "He made a request and it was considered under the Data Protection Act".

Mr Mitchell last night said that he felt "stitched up" by the police, although the Police Federation strongly denies it has been part of any "conspiracy" to oust the minister.

Both Michael Howard and David Davis have called for Mr Mitchell to be returned to Cabinet following the Channel 4 revelations.

"I was very sad when Andrew Mitchell resigned because I think he was an excellent minister," Lord Howard said on the Today programme.

"I am appalled at the suggestion that a police officer could do what it is alleged the police officer in question did, and I really certainly hope that Andrew Mitchell is restored to government at the earliest possible opportunity."

Mr Davis said on the same programme: "He should be returned to high office, he was a fantastic International Development Secretary, he probably will not become Chief Whip again but I think the injustice should be put right."

Green Box: 'Plebgate' email publishedClick to open

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