Bloomberg News

Policewoman Arrested in Probe Into U.K. Minister ‘Pleb’ Claims

February 01, 2013

A female police officer was arrested over leaks to the media as part of a probe into allegations a government minister insulted officers guarding the U.K. prime minister’s residence.

It is the fourth arrest, and second in two days, in an investigation into the accusations made against Andrew Mitchell that led to his resignation as the government’s Chief Whip.

An officer said Mitchell, who was in charge of discipline at the Conservative Party, called police “plebs” after they refused to let him cycle through the main gate at 10 Downing Street in September. The constable, 46, arrested today was present during the alleged incident, police said in a statement.

A report by Channel 4 News televised Dec. 18 said a police officer had posed as a member of the public and falsely claimed to have witnessed the events in an e-mail to a lawmaker.

The female officer was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office in connection with unauthorized disclosure of information to the media. She is being held at a London police station.

A 46-year-old male officer, who wasn’t at Downing Street when the incident occurred, was arrested yesterday and later granted bail.

Prime Minister David Cameron may restore Mitchell to office if new evidence exonerates him, a person familiar with the premier’s thinking said last month.

“All I would say is it is very important that this investigation is thoroughly carried out and proper answers are delivered,” Cameron told reporters today in Monrovia, Liberia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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