Today in Court: Plebgate Cops Describe “Mexican Stand Off”

plebgate-mitchell-sun

An “agitated” Andrew Mitchell called policemen “f**king plebs” in a “Mexican stand off” at the gates of Downing Street, it was claimed in court today. PC Toby Rowland claimed he threatened Mitchell with arrest because passers by could have been caused “distress” by his abusive language. Told by James Price QC that the allegations were an “invention” to justify the threat of arrest, PC Rowland insisted “all the evidence I’ve given is the truth…I have not written anything to cover my arse”.

Former No.10 officer PC Ian Richardson testified that he heard PC Rowland tell Mitchell “please don’t swear at me sir”, but did not take detailed notes because “I was eating my sandwiches and couldn’t be arsed to write too much more”. PC Richardson concluded: “At the time, it was just a quirky incident of a gentleman on a bicycle who had the hump”. The case continues…

Eurosceptic Tory Rebel Sets Off UKIP Rumour Mill

A Eurosceptic, rebellious Tory MP snapped smiling with Nigel Farage last night, two days before the Rochester by-election, has got tongues wagging:

Despite fevered speculation overnight, it is unlikely Mark Pritchard will be the next man to jump ship. Especially judging by his recent, previous thoughts on UKIP:

… As someone once famously said before…

Today in Court: “I Was Ill-Tempered” Says Mitchell But Top Tory Denies “Just F**king Plebs” Jibe

Andrew Mitchell told policemen at the Downing Street gates they were “just f**king plebs” who should “best know your f**king place”, a court heard today. Giving evidence against Mitchell, PC Toby Rowland claimed he did not know what the word “pleb” meant when the then Chief Whip allegedly called him one in September 2012. Rowland also told the court: “I didn’t have a clue who the Chief Whip was. I knew he’d changed recently. I needed to confirm who he was”. Describing Mitchell’s behaviour as “completely inappropriate and offensive”, Rowland insisted: “All my evidence has been the truth”.

Earlier, Mitchell concluded his evidence by admitting “I was ill-tempered” but “didn’t lose my temper”. He described as “completely wrong” suggestions he had changed his story, also insisting “I’ve always told the truth about this incident”. After leaving the gates that night, Mitchell phoned Bob Geldof and told him he had had a “row”. The following day Mitchell had two meetings with Craig Oliver, telling the court “He still is… [Downing Street Director of Communications]… I think”. He then had a telephone conversation with No. 10 Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn, who informed him “Houston, we have a problem”. The case continues…

Shapps Slaps Down Warsi Over Israel “Intimidation” Comment

There’s no love lost between Shapps and his predecessor as Tory chairman, Sayeeda Warsi. Tension has boiled over today in light of the former Foreign Office minister’s crackers intervention blaming Israel for a terrorist attack on its own citizens:

So that’s what Warsi meant by now being able to “speak more freely”…

Today in Court: Former Tory Whips Will Testify Against Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell “could not recall” what he said to police officers at the gates of Downing Street, courtroom 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice heard today. That is what former Deputy Chief Whip John Randall and former whip Michael Fabricant will testify at the Plebgate libel trial, despite Mitchell providing a verbatim account of the incident to the Sunday Times and telling the court “I would never call a policeman a pleb let alone a f**king pleb”. Presented with their testimony, Mitchell responded: “They were not on my side. Mr Fabricant has campaigned against me through out this period”.

Desmond Browne QC, representing PC Toby Rowland, alleged that on another occasion Mitchell told a security officer he was “a little s**t”, and that he told a further officer “that’s a bit above your pay grade Mr Plod”. On the second allegation, Mitchell replied “it’s possible”. Asked if he sneered at officers that they had been “sunning themselves by the pool for four days”, again Mitchell admitted: “it’s possible”. In a witness statement, Bob Geldof said Mitchell is “no slouch” when it comes to swearing.

Gavin Millar QC, for News Group Newspapers, told the court “when The Sun published the story it was because it truly believed the account..to be true”. James Price QC, representing Mitchell, insisted he is an “innocent man”“not a snob”, “a good man” who is victim of “a web of lies, deceit and indiscipline”. The case continues…

Women of Twitter React to Newmark “Rape” Comments

Brooks Newmark has compared being exposed as a sex text pest to being “mentally raped”. Yet another stunning example of the Women2Win founder’s record on women’s issues:

He always had a way with words…

UKIP Hit Back With Punchy Attack Advert

As UKIP take a 12 point lead in the Rochester by-election and following the Tories going very negative on Mark Reckless, Farage and co have hit back with a snazzy attack ad of their own:

Shame there is no TV advertising space for the parties to buy…

WATCH: Tories Troll Sadiq Khan at Justice Questions

One topic kept cropping up at Justice Questions today. Chris Grayling took the opportunity to condemn the scourge of using a mobile at the wheel:

“The offence of using a mobile phone while driving is a very serious one. It should be dealt with effectively by the courts, and it is an area where the government is giving active consideration as part of our driving sentences review to strengthen the penalties. It is something that is wholly unacceptable and the courts should deal with it appropriately.” 

While Justice minister Mike Penning shared his own personal experience:

“As an ex-firefighter I used to go to so many of these incidents and the distraction of using a mobile phone is not only illegal it actually kills people, the people using the phone and others, and we should all decry anybody for using a mobile phone while driving.”

For some reason the Shadow Justice Secretary had nothing to add…

Now ECJ Says Britain CAN Ban Benefit Tourists

The European Court of Justice has this morning ruled that an unemployed Romanian woman living in Germany had no automatic legal right to access unemployment benefits. The Court found that member states “must have the possibility of refusing to grant social benefits to economically inactive Union citizens who exercise their right to freedom of movement solely in order to obtain another Member State’s social assistance.” The case related to a Romanian woman, Ms Dano and her son Florian, who took a job centre in Leipzig to court for refusing them benefits.[…] Read the rest

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Theresa May’s Subtle By-Election Follow Up

In a rite of passage for any future leadership contender, just days after the Rochester by-election Theresa May is doing Desert Island Discs:

A Home Office source tells Guido: “I wouldn’t dream of interfering on that one… she’s doing them all herself”.[…] Read the rest

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WATCH: Tories’ US-Style Reckless Attack Ad

The Tories are going very negative on Mark Reckless in Rochester:

Meanwhile UKIP are set for their biggest ever campaign day tomorrow, bussing in 10% of their entire party membership in Rochester on one day. The Tories are calling in the cavalry with hunting supporters turning out to back their candidate on Sunday.[…] Read the rest

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Coalition Tension Escalates

Crikey…[…] Read the rest

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UKIP Threaten to Turn More Tory-Held Marginals Red

More from Lord Ashcroft on Labour making inroads into Tory-held marginals this morning. Of the twelve constituencies with Tory MPs polled, nine are Labour gains. Worth noting the rise of UKIP in each of the seats above. Ashcroft’s analysis shows the Tories can afford to lose no more than 21 seats to Labour if they are to remain the largest party.[…] Read the rest

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Theresa May Back as Favourite for Next Tory Leader

Norman Baker has at last brought Theresa May some good news after a fairly dire week. Regular readers will not be surprised about the Loon of Lewis has quit – Guido reported the preparations for the departure back in mid-October. Now ConHome have even more good news for the Home Secretary:

“The second loss of a child abuse enquiry Chairman. 

[…] Read the rest

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Herr Llewellyn “Creates Bonds and Friendships” With Germany

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Earlier this week a well versed government source whispered to Guido that Ed Llewellyn is holding out to secure the Ambassadorship to Berlin. Well, the latest No. 10 SpAd hospitality declarations suggest Herr Llewellyn has been busy making plans for the job. […] Read the rest

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Lobbyists Claim Fallon SpAd Retained Whilst at MoD

Back in September Michael Fallon hired defence lobbyist Bill Clare to spin for him as his special adviser. The right-winger worked for Michael Howard before joining Liam Fox’s abortive bid for the Tory leadership, ending up on the side of the angels at arms manufacturers General Dynamics, eventually going on to spin for the London First group.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Stewart Jackson on Bob Geldof:

“Now loudmouth multimillionaire soapdodger Bob Geldof is supporting the LibDem campaign in Richmond Park. Haven’t the voters suffered enough?”

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