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Tory Minister Did Call Policeman A "F*cking Pleb"

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell has lost his libel case against The Sun and faces an enormous bill. The judge decided he probably did say the contentious phrase.

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Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has lost his libel case over the so-called plebgate incident.

Mitchell sued The Sun over a 2012 front-page story which claimed he called PC Toby Rowland a "fucking pleb" as he tried to exit the Downing Street gates late at night. Mitchell admitted swearing at the officer, but denied using the word "pleb".

The newspaper's story caused a political scandal that ended with Mitchell being forced to resign.

Mitchell then sued The Sun for libel, while separately being sued by Rowland. But following a two-week hearing, Mr Justice Mitting said he was "satisfied" that Mitchell "did say the words alleged or something very close to them".

The judge added that PC 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.

Mitchell said he was "bitterly disappointed" by the decision but hopes it will "bring this matter to a close". He now faces a multi-million-pound legal bill.

Mitchell said the words while attempting to leave Downing Street on this bike.

The incident has now ruined Mitchell's reputation.

No more talk of Cabinet comebacks for Andrew Mitchell after libel judge rules he did say "pleb" in row with Downing St police #plebgate

Tim Ross@TimRossDTFollow

No more talk of Cabinet comebacks for Andrew Mitchell after libel judge rules he did say "pleb" in row with Downing St police #plebgate

3:36 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Mitchell loses plebgate case. Was an argument about one word worth a career, a reputation and a fortune?

Nick Robinson@bbcnickrobinsonFollow

Mitchell loses plebgate case. Was an argument about one word worth a career, a reputation and a fortune?

3:26 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

If Andrew Mitchell had shown some humility, said he had lost his temper and not sure what he'd said, but was sorry - he'd still be in Gov't.

Michael Fabricant@Mike_FabricantFollow

If Andrew Mitchell had shown some humility, said he had lost his temper and not sure what he'd said, but was sorry - he'd still be in Gov't.

3:40 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And although no one knows exactly how much his legal bill will run to, it will be a fortune.

14 day cooling off period but Mitchell's lawyers being asked to stump up £400k on account #plebgate

Sean O'Neill@TimesCrimeFollow

14 day cooling off period but Mitchell's lawyers being asked to stump up £400k on account #plebgate

4:00 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

if this goes against Mitchell, the Police Federation legal bill could be as high as £1m #plebgate

Iain@Iain_33Follow

if this goes against Mitchell, the Police Federation legal bill could be as high as £1m #plebgate

3:08 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

BBC reports costs that Mitchell may have to pay between £2m & £3m

Robin Brant@robindbrantFollow

BBC reports costs that Mitchell may have to pay between £2m & £3m

4:10 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

All things considered, he's probably regretting his decision to sue now.

An appalling tragedy for Mitchell. Friends tried to dissuade him from suing, not cos they didn't believe him but cos it seemed unnecessary

Isabel Oakeshott@IsabelOakeshottFollow

An appalling tragedy for Mitchell. Friends tried to dissuade him from suing, not cos they didn't believe him but cos it seemed unnecessary

4:10 PM - 27 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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