Policeman in ‘plebgate’ row seeks £200,000

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THE POLICE officer at the centre of the plebgate row is demanding up to £200,000 in compensation from former cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell.

Toby Rowland has filed court papers repeating his claim that Mr Mitchell used the term “plebs” during their confrontation in Downing Street in 2012.

He also argues that the then chief whip changed his story after effectively admitting in a phone call that he had said the disputed words.

The documents have been lodged as part of the bitter libel battle between the MP, the Pc and The Sun newspaper.

Stating his case in detail for the first time since the incident, Mr Rowland insists Mr Mitchell erupted after being blocked from cycling out of the pedestrian gate to leave the street, saying: “Best you learn your f****** place - you don’t run this f****** government, you’re f****** plebs.”

The politician has previously admitted to using “Anglo-Saxon” language, but said he did not swear at police, and flatly denied using the term “plebs”.

As he struggled to save his job after news of the spat emerged publicly, Mr Mitchell telephoned the Pc to apologise.

Mr Rowland claims that in their conversation there was the “clear implication he admitted using the said words”.

The police officer is demanding up to £200,000 in “aggravated damages for slander” and has asked for an injunction to “restrain” Mr Mitchell, and those acting on his behalf, from repeating the claim that his version of the exchange was fabricated.

Five days after the “plebgate” incident, Mitchell apologised for a second time for his behaviour but repeated his assertion that he did not use the words that had been attributed to him.

However, he then took the decision to resign from the post of chief whip in October 2012, stating that “it has become clear to me that whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter I will not be able to fulfil my duties”.