Andrew Mitchell loses libel case

Andrew Mitchell, the former Cabinet conservative minister, lost his libel case in the High Court yesterday against The Sun, which had printed a front page article saying that Mitchell had called PC Toby Rowland, the police officer guarding the gate to 10 Downing Street, a “pleb”. Mitchell also failed in his defence against PC Rowland, who had sued Mitchell for accusing him of lying.

Mitchell accepted that he had used bad language while asking for the main gate to be opened so that he could ride his bicycle out, but denied that he used the word “pleb”.

Mr Justice Mitting, in his ruling, said: “I’m satisfied, at least on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Mitchell did speak the words attributed to him, or so close to them as to amount to the same, the politically toxic word ‘pleb’.”

Mitchell was asked to pay £300,000 in legal costs, which will be shared between The Sun and PC Rowland, by 3 January 2015. It is expected that he will be asked to pay further legal costs.

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