Plebgate: What do we know now?

Andrew Mitchell Image copyright PA

A police officer has been sent to jail for lying about witnessing a cabinet minister swearing at and calling officers "plebs".

The judge said he was guilty of "devious misconduct which fell far below the standards expected of a police officer".

So what do we now know ?

Did some police officers lie about what they heard and saw at the gates of Downing Street ?

One went to jail today for lying about what he heard and saw.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says "whatever Mr Mitchell said, it was not audible to the other police officers standing several feet away".

Five other officers now face charges of gross misconduct. They insisted that they had not contacted the press about the story when evidence suggests they actually had.

The officer involved in the original row stands by his story (see below)

Was there police collusion to damage a senior politician?

Yes.

The IPCC concluded today that "there was clearly collusion between certain officers to, as they saw it, blow the whistle on bad behaviour toward one of their own".

So, was there a conspiracy to bring down a cabinet minister?

No.

The IPCC says the patchwork of evidence from emails, text messages and telephone calls does not suggest an organised conspiracy to bring down a cabinet minister. However, it says the collusion "ultimately had the same effect" as a conspiracy would have done.

The director of public prosecutions (DPP) has previously said was there not sufficient evidence "to show that Mitchell was the victim of a conspiracy of misinformation".

This is why the officers in question are facing disciplinary and not criminal charges.

So, did Andrew Mitchell call police officers 'plebs'?

Don't know.

It is still disputed between the former cabinet minister, who denies it, and the police officer at the gates of Downing Street, who stands by his story.

The IPCC's deputy chairman, Deborah Glass, says: "I do not think it is possible to establish exactly what was said during the initial altercation."

Alison Saunders, the DPP, has previously said there is insufficient evidence to suggest the officer who claimed Mr Mitchell called him a "pleb" was lying.

We will probably never know what was said, but it is due to be tested in court. Mr Mitchell is suing The Sun newspaper over its original story. The officer at the gates is suing Mr Mitchell for accusing him of lying.

But didn't CCTV footage of the incident prove Mitchell's case?

No.

The DPP said that "much of the press reporting to date has assumed that the CCTV recordings show that the gate officer lied about the words used during the incident." But went on to say that it had been edited (not by Channel 4 who first aired it) and "did not show the full picture".

A police officer has been sent to jail for lying about witnessing a cabinet minister calling officers "plebs". The judge said he was guilty of "devious misconduct which fell far below the standards expected of a police officer".