Andrew Mitchel probably did use the word “pleb”, according to the High Court judge presiding over the MP’s libel case.
The Sun had claimed Mitchell called PC Toby Rowland a “pleb”. Mitchell denied this, taking News Group Newspapers, which owns the Sun, to court.
Despite admitting to using profanities, Mitchell, who was the government's chief whip at the time of the incident, has always maintained he didn’t utter that particular word. The judge disagreed.
The case involved 26 witnesses and two weeks of evidence, all of which described an altercation lasting under 20 seconds.The argument took place after Mitchell attempted to leave Downing Street on a bike and was asked to dismount by PC Rowland.
The judge, after weighing up the evidence, decided Rowland was:
Not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper.