The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will not investigate if parts of the â€˜Pleb-gateâ€™ report were leaked to the press, it said in a letter to the former Chief Whip to the Government.
Andrew Mitchell, who was eventually forced to resign over allegations he called officers â€œplebsâ€ when they refused to let him ride his bike through the main gate at Downing Street, wrote to the IPCC on March 30, asking them to investigate claims aired in newspaper articles the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) leaked its report the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to journalists.
However, IPCC chair Deborah Glass ruled out an immediate inquiry, saying articles inÂ The TimesÂ andÂ The GuardianÂ did not directly confirm any leak nor provide any evidence or quotes from the document.
â€œWhile this does not rule out the possibility of the MPS file having been leaked, it also raises other possibilities, either that someone who may have been connected to the investigation or in possession of material had a conversation with a reporter, or that the author/s of the articles were reporting speculatively,â€ she said.
â€œWhile I fully understand your concerns about these press reports, it appears to me that the public interest is best served by ensuring that the MPS are indeed carrying out a robust and thorough investigation into the initial incident and its aftermath.
â€œShould you wish to formally pursue your complaint in the meantime, I understand that DAC [Patricia] Gallan is happy to meet and discuss with you in the first instance, and I will keep the situation under review.â€
Ms Glass added she was personally reviewing the MPSâ€™ report to ensure it was â€œthorough and robustâ€, pointing out that forensic details still needed to be completed. She said she hoped to meet with CPS lawyers in two weeks to further consider the matter, and whether criminal charges could be brought.
Mr Mitchell is already suingÂ The SunÂ for the initial coverage of the allegations by MPS officers. Three officers and one other person have been arrested as part of the MPS investigation so far.
IPCC: no current investigation of Mitchell leak
Also at: IPCC reject calls for plebgate leak probe