British PM under fire over ‘pleb’ spat



Agence France Presse

Published — Saturday 22 December 2012

Last update 22 December 2012 12:19 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LONDON: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron was under fire Saturday from friends of a minister who quit over claims he called police officers ‘plebs’, saying the PM left Andrew Mitchell ‘swinging in the wind’.
Mitchell was forced to step down as the government’s chief whip in October after officers claimed he swore at them and called them “plebs” when they stopped him from cycling out of the main gates of Downing Street a month earlier.
The politician — who as chief whip was responsible for enforcing discipline in Cameron’s Conservative Party — has admitted swearing but has always denied he used the word “plebs.”
The issue has exploded again this month with the police now investigating what they call “extremely serious” allegations that a serving police officer fabricated evidence in the case.
Security camera footage aired on television this week, which appeared to show little sign of a dispute and few potential witnesses, in contrast to the leaked police log of the incident.
Using the same phrase, several newspapers quoted unnamed friends of Mitchell saying Cameron had known about the footage but left Mitchell “swinging in the wind” by not allowing him to see it before he resigned.
“It was a disgraceful decision to let it lie and let Andrew swing in the wind,” one was quoted as saying by The Independent newspaper.
Another in The Guardian was quoted as saying: “The prime minister clearly decided not to raise concerns with Bernard Hogan-Howe,” Britain’s top police chief, calling such a decision “astonishing.”
“Back in September, Downing Street had three quarters of the facts that are now in the public domain.
“It is inexplicable that no questions were asked of the police.”
Hogan-Howe is to face a grilling by lawmakers over Scotland Yard’s handling of the incident.
The head of London’s Metropolitan Police will face questions in the New Year from the Home Affairs Select Committee scrutiny panel, The Times newspaper said.
The cross-party body has written to Hogan-Howe asking for an explanation over Scotland Yard’s handling of the case.
“There are serious questions that need answering,” said committee chairman Keith Vaz.
A police officer was arrested last weekend on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.
Another man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of “intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offense on or around 14 December.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi man who carried out a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kuwait on Friday had no previous convictions for terrorism, the Interior Ministry said.The ministry, through its Twitter account, announced that Fahad Suleiman Al-Gabbaa was born...
JEDDAH: Eight million people visited the Grand Mosque in the first 10 days of Ramadan, a 49 percent increase from last year, the Haj and Umrah Directorate said recently.Salah Saqr, director of the directorate, said the transport plan was approved and...
JEDDAH: The government has installed 5,000 high-definition cameras on all floors and courtyards of the Grand Mosque to ensure security and crowd control.These cameras are monitored 24 hours a day by officers at a control center in Mina. They have to...
GENEVA: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the report of the International Fact Finding Commission on Israeli aggression in Gaza and has lauded its effort to prepare the report despite noncooperation from Israel which did not allow the committee to do its wor...
JEDDAH: Several Yemenis have praised the government for correcting their status quickly, which created no extra burden while fasting.Many who gathered in front of the Passport Department in Asir said everything was in place for them, a local newspape...
RIYADH: The $11.6 billion King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is already being admired for being a smart city but nobody can tell when it will be completed.“Being a smart city, everything is state-of-the-art. There is seamless Internet access and...
RIYADH: In a new move, the Ministry of Health will conduct drug tests on all drivers ferrying pilgrims between Makkah and Madinah during the Haj season.The decision was taken at a Haj preparatory meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of Imad...
JEDDAH: Motorbikes are among the most important means of transportation in Makkah during Ramadan because they are easy to use and cope easily with congestion in the central area next to the Grand Mosque. Despite the presence of public transportation,...
JEDDAH: A local man here runs a business started 150 years ago by his grandfather making sought-after Hijazi sweets for Eid and other festivals.Samer Jastaniah, 35, has three family shops making these products. “I am the grandson of the doyen of swee...
RIYADH: Saudi students have won six medals — a gold, a silver and four bronze — at the 19th Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (JBMO 2015), securing the fifth place for the nation, as against 13th in its first participation in 2013.Rinad Abu-Jamal f...
Ambassador of Belgium Geert Criel:— Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? The friendliness of its people.— What is your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Ahlan wa Sahlan.— Which book is by your bedside these days? World Orde...
AL-AHSA: Saudi farmers here need more support to buy fertilizers, medicines and equipment, and market their products.This is the view of Ahmed Al-Musalmi, who recently won the country’s ‘Ideal Farmer Award.’ He said high production costs and low mark...
JEDDAH: The Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has launched 20 initiatives aimed at improving the professionalism of employees and limiting individual interpretations and actions while carrying out duties.Sheikh Abdul...
RIYADH: Medical studies and research for new methods in the treatment of chronic diseases suggests that fasting could help combat cancer and boost effectiveness of treatment.Scientists doing research on the positive aspects of fasting discovered that...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has announced that Saudi universities would accept 95 percent of high school graduates, despite a royal decree four years ago setting a ceiling of 70 percent.The royal decree had approved the “Afaq Project,” a strate...

Stay Connected

Facebook