Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell to pay out £80k in libel damages to police officer

 
Lynsey Barber
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Andrew Mitchell pays out after losing "plebgate" trail (Source: Getty)

MP and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell will pay £80,000 in damages to the police officer at the centre of the "plebgate" row.

PC Toby Rowland has accepted the libel damages to settle the legal case after the high court ruled last year that Mitchell had called Rowland a pleb while cycling past the officer through the gates of Downing Street.

It brings to an end a battle lasting more than two years over the original 12-second exchange that took place back in September 2012. Mitchell had argued he was the victim of a conspiracy by police to bring him down.

During a costly libel trial brought by Mitchell, a judge ruled the former high ranking Tory had used the word pleb in reference to Rowland and other officers manning the gate in Westminster.

He lost his case and was ordered to pay £300,000 to the Police Federation and the Sun newspaper which first published the story in a front-page splash.

Rowland brought his own libel case against Mitchell and has accepted the damages payout of £80,000.

Mitchell is also liable for the costs of the case.

Neither men were in court today and Rowland's lawyer Jeremy Clarke-Williams told Justice Warby that Mitchell "has abandoned the other defences he had raised to my client's claim and consequently terms of settlement have been agreed".

"The payment of £80,000 damages by Mr Mitchell sets the seal on PC Rowland's vindication, as well as providing compensation for the injury to his reputation and the distress caused to him and his family over many months," said Clarke-Wilson, the BBC reports.

The newspaper front page that brought plebgate to light (Source: The Sun)

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