That Andrew Mitchell no longer has confidence in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner escalates this scandal. I understand from those close to Mitchell that he was particularly concerned by Bernard Hogan-Howe’s declaration a few days ago that he had seen ‘nothing that causes me to doubt the original account’ contained in the police logs. He felt that this risked prejudging the police’s own investigation into the matter.
One other aspect of this affair is where it leaves the relationship between the police and those Cabinet Ministers they protect. After the Mitchell incident, many of them made their displeasure known. David Cameron’s own security detail were seen wearing ‘toffs and plebs’ cufflinks at Tory conference.
It should be stressed, for legal reasons, that nothing has been proved definitively either way yet. But if the case being made by Mitchell’s friends turns out to be correct, then the Met will be thrust into a crisis even more severe than the one caused by its excessive intimacy with sections of the press.