Police Fed to apologise if Mitchell is victim of injustice
The Police Federation of England and Wales has said it will apologise to Andrew Mitchell if it is found he was the victim of an injustice.
On an evening in which the Prime Minister was reported to have said the Chief Whip's position was "stronger" following claims that he was the victim of a police conspiracy, Paul Mckeever, the Police Federation's Chair, struck an apologetic tone on PM this evening.
"If he has been done a calumny in relation to what's happened, I'll be first in the queue to apologise," he told the programme.
He acknowledged that trust could have been eroded in the police force, adding that he understood those who said the Federation has "stoked up" some of the media attention at the time.
"I can understand when people say there's a danger that the trust might be eroded in the British police services as a result of what's happened," he said.
"I understand those who say the Federation stoked up some of the media attention in relation to Andrew Mitchell. You have to put this into the context of what happened at time.
"We had two police officers who had just been shot dead in Greater Manchester, we heard the reports like everybody else of what Andrew Mitchell was meant to have said at the time."
Earlier, a 23-year-old man was arrested on charges relating to the incident.
The man has been taken into custody in relation to "intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offence".
Scotland Yard, which has now put 30 officers on the Mitchell case, said in a statement that the man arrested is "not a police officer or a member of police staff".
The arrest follows the publication last night of the email at the centre of claims against former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell.
The original email, which purported to be from a passer-by, is now thought to have been from an off-duty police officer.
A Channel 4 report also raised doubts as to whether the email's author had actually witnessed the altercation between Mr Mitchell and police officers at the Downing St gate.
Downing Street today said the Prime Minister was backing the investigation into the incident carried out by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood.
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister is very clearly of the view that the right things have been done."