Ex-chief whip Andrew Mitchell did call a policeman a “pleb”, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.
Mitchell sued The Sun for running a story that accused Mitchell of calling police officers “f****** plebs” for not letting him cycle through the vehicle gates.
According to PC Rowland, Mitchell said: “Best you learn your f****** place – you don’t run this f****** government – you’re f****** plebs.”
Giving his ruling, Justice Mitting said: “For the reasons given I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word ‘pleb’.”
After the ruling, Mitchell said he was “bitterly disappointed”.
He added: “This has been a miserable two years. We now need to bring this matter to a close and move on with our lives.”
PC Toby Rowland, the police officer who Mitchell called a “pleb”, said: “I am delighted to hear again my innocence, my reputation and my integrity as a police officer has been recognised. I hope now that a line can be drawn and everyone can be left in peace.”
Take a look at the Plebgate case in numbers:
59: the number of syllables used in the whole exchange
15 seconds: duration of exchange
£3m: total expected legal cost to Mitchell
£300,000: amount Mitchell has been ordered to pay in interim costs
£237,000: cost to taxpayer until September 2013 (2014 figures yet to be ascertained)
£150,000: amount Mitchell sued The Sun for
£200,000: compensation PC Toby Rowland is seeking
£1m: the amount the Police Federation spent on legal fees to support PC Toby Rowland