Police Federation faces fresh criticism over Plebgate saga after former officer complains of betrayal.
The Police Federation is facing fresh criticism over its role in the Plebgate saga after a former officer told a newspaper he felt betrayed by â€œleakersâ€ and â€œmischief makersâ€.
Ian Richardson, a retired officer who was on duty at the gates of Downing Street during the Plebgate confrontation, attacked federation officials for hijacking the incident for their own political ends, according to the Times.
â€œIâ€™m speaking out because I feel Iâ€™ve been betrayed â€“ by the leakers, the mischief makers and sections of the federation. Itâ€™s caused me 18 months of grief,â€ Richardson said.
The Federation is facing calls for a radical overhaul in the wake of the row and will be scrutinised by MPs on Thursday.
The latest twist in the saga comes less than a week since Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised to Andrew Mitchell about the conduct of PC Keith Wallis, who was jailed for falsely claiming to have witnessed the confrontation.
Richardson was critical of Police Federation officialsâ€™ handling of the affair. He said: â€œIt was so wrong, it was nothing to do with them. Certain people thought they had a silver bullet with which they could overturn police reforms.â€
According to the Times, Richardson did not hear Mitchell use the word â€œplebâ€ but said he believed his former colleagueâ€™s version of events. â€œI believed him then and nothing has changed my position since,â€ Richardson said.
â€œNot for one second did I think â€˜heâ€™s making this upâ€™. He repeated to us those exact phrases that were to become the absolute focus of their exchange â€“ the swearing, the insults and the threat that we â€˜hadnâ€™t heard the last of thisâ€™.â€
Mitchell is suing the Sun newspaper over the claim that he used the word â€œplebâ€. Rowland has said that he will be suing Mitchell for branding him a â€œliarâ€.
Former officer reopens Plebgate controversy