Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mitchell’s Plebgate Libel Trial Scheduled for December
Million Pound Costs Risk

plebgate-mitchell-sun

It will be all over by Christmas. Andrew Mitchell’s libel hearing against The Sun is scheduled for the first two weeks of December in the High Court. The losing side will be a million pounds worse off after costs alone. Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police are expected, because it is in the public interest as a matter of public confidence in the police, to publish the findings of Operation Alice –  the investigation into who passed information to The Sun and The Telegraph newspapers about the “Plebgate” incident, including whether the leak came from within the police force or from a third party.

Operation Alice examined a police witness statement from the incident and investigated if there was a conspiracy between the officer and another party. It also investigated claims made by Mitchell that police lied in the police log of the incident. Mitchell himself is also being sued for defamation by a policeman, a case that will be held in January. All this will be aired at the same time as Mitchell is trying to talk up his prospects of becoming an EU commissioner…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cops Warned of Mitchell Concerns Before Plebgate Incident

The Times runs another police leak upping the pressure on Andrew Mitchell this morning. They have an email showing Downing Street police asked for advice over Mitchell’s repeated demands to break security rules and cycle through the main gates the night before it all kicked off.

00:48 September 19, 2012

“[Mitchell] keeps requesting to leave Downing Street via the main vehicle gates. [He was] adamant he WAS GOING THROUGH THOSE GATES. As it was quite late and quiet at this point and in order not to create embarrassment to himself or the DPG [Diplomatic Protection Group] he was allowed on this occasion to leave via one of the main gates.”

Regardless of where these leaks are coming from, they don’t look good for Mitchell at all…

See also: Mitchell ‘Did Call Officers F**king Plebs’

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mitchell ‘Did Call Officers F**king Plebs’

Just when you thought it was over, one of the Plebgate cops has this morning given an interview to the Times insisting Mitchell did call officers “f**king plebs”. Ian Richardson was the first person to speak to the officer who claims Mitchell used the word:

“I said ‘Write that down and ring the skipper because you just threatened to arrest the Chief Whip in Downing Street — there’s likely to be some problems’.”

Which was prescient, to say the least…

Richardson blames the Police Federation for using the Downing Street policemen’s story for their own political ends and the bent cop who wrote up a false witness account, saying that despite all this the original account is correct. This might be closer to the truth than a lot of what else has been written about Plebgate…

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Now Mitchell Himself is Getting Sued

It gets worse for Andrew Mitchell. PC Toby Rowland, who he called a “liar”, is going to sue him for libel. He sent him a lawyer’s letter yesterday accusing him of making defamatory comments. The Police Federation are believed to be stumping up the cash. Which, if it gets there, will make for a very interesting day in court…

Via @skymartinbrunt

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Bad News for Mitchell

The Court of Appeal has ruled that even if Mitchell wins any legal action against the Sun, the former Chief Whip will not be able to recover any of his costs.

As Guido reported at the time, High Court judge Master Victoria McCloud punished Mitchell’s lawyers, including celeb barrister David Sherborne, for failing to submit paperwork on time and his appeal failed this morning.

Which might explain the somewhat budget nature of his press conference yesterday.

Friday, October 18, 2013

WATCH: Mitchell ‘Has Said Pleb Before’

Back when plebgate blew up Mitchell was adamant he would never dream of using that word: “I think most people who know me know I would not use words like pleb or moron in describing anyone”. Well one person who does know him says different:

MP: “I’d heard him use that word in private conversation, the pleb word I mean. I didn’t believe he could have used it at the gates.”

AN: “You’d heard him use it in private conversations?”

MP: “I think I did… but not in a bad context…”

Well this is awkward.

Via @liarpoliticians.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Plebgate Highlights Useless PCCs

The first big test for an elected Police and Crime Commissioners is not going very well. Plodding Independent Ron Ball from Warwickshire got skewered by Paxman on Newsnight last night, while Labour’s West Midlands PCC Bob Jones was equally useless on yesterday’s Daily Politics:

Perhaps that could be because Jones involved in this up to his neck. Here he is delivering a letter into Mitchell’s office trying to stir up the incident last year:

His note was published by LabourList, before they changed their tune. The Fed loved him…

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

PMQs, Andrew Mitchell and Ed Miliband

“Andrew Mitchell has been wronged” says LabourList this morning, “and the Labour movement should defend him.” Someone might like remind their leader and cheerleaders.

Does Miliband remember this PMQs?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pleb-gate: Episode 24

The Pleb-gate saga takes another turn today with the IPCC finally weighing in on that meeting between Mitchell and his local Police Federation. Deborah Glass, the deputy chair of the IPCC

“The investigation by West Mercia Police concluded that although the Police Federation undoubtedly contributed to the pressure on Mr Mitchell and his decision to resign, none of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct or gross misconduct. The investigating officer concluded that while the federation representatives’ comments to the media could be viewed as ambiguous or misleading, there was no deliberate intention to lie. I disagree. In my view, the evidence is such that a panel should determine whether the three officers gave a false account of the meeting in a deliberate attempt to support their MPS colleague and discredit Mr Mitchell, in pursuit of a wider agenda. In my opinion the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity, not merely naïve or poor professional judgment.”

A full transcript of the meeting has been published here.

Interestingly Mitchell has not made an official complaint and West Mercia Police still say there is “insufficient evidence” to punish those officers involved.

It rumbles on…

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mitchell’s Half-a-Million Libel Legal Debacle

sherborne

Tomorrow we will get the judgement in a bizarre legal mess up between Andrew Mitchell’s solicitors and his celebrity barrister David Sherborne.  Due to a cock-up Mitchell’s solicitors failed to file their costs and so under the tightened rules will be punished. In front of Master McCloud there was a lot of legal buck passing last Thursday. As a result even if he wins the Plebgate libel case it is likely Mitchell will not be able to claim for his costs which are running at some £500,000.

sun-plebgate

Damages in his Plebgate libel case are capped at £150,000, so if Mitchell loses his case he could have to pay The Sun’s costs of some £600,000 and his costs of £500,000 – a whopping total of £1.1 million will be divided between him and his solicitors who were acting under a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA). Ouch!

M’learned friends speculate that Mitchell and his solicitors could end up falling out and suing each other. If the judgement tomorrow goes against Mitchell, his solicitors are likely to appeal meaning the underlying case will be delayed for months.

With the delay Mitchell’s hopes of returning to government in the next reshuffle will come to naught while the case is ongoing…

UPDATE: Mitchell’s lawyers Atkins Thomson, who screwed up the costs claim, have got in touch to say they and Sherborne share the risk of their own costs if Mitchell’s case fails. They also point out the obvious fact that The Sun’s costs are only payable if they lose and they are insured – though m’learned friends tell me the insurance probably won’t cover the whole amount. They also say they won’t fall out with their client…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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