Met chief in apology to Mitchell

The Oxford Times: Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised in person to senior Tory MP Andrew Mitchell Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised in person to senior Tory MP Andrew Mitchell

Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised in person to senior Tory MP Andrew Mitchell ahead of the sentencing of a police officer who lied about witnessing the Plebgate row.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner held a 50-minute meeting with former chief whip Mr Mitchell in his Commons office, where they agreed on the importance of "drawing a line" under the matter.

Pc Keith Wallis faces a possible prison sentence tomorrow after he admitted a charge of misconduct in public office for sending a letter to his own MP John Randall, who was Mr Mitchell's deputy chief whip, claiming to have witnessed the row at the gates of Downing Street.

Mr Mitchell said: "I am grateful to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for his apology.

"We had a constructive discussion about police reform and agreed on the importance of drawing a line under this matter and looking to the future."

Mr Mitchell became involved in a heated confrontation with another police officer, Toby Rowland, after he was refused permission to cycle through the main gate.

The Sutton Coldfield MP, who was forced to quit as chief whip over the debacle, later admitted swearing but denied Pc Rowland's claim that he used the word ''pleb''.

Last month, the Old Bailey heard how Wallis, who is from the Metropolitan Police diplomatic protection group, admitted his offence in police interview and offered to resign.

Mr Justice Sweeney warned Wallis, 53, of West Drayton, west London, that "all sentencing options remain open to the court".

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