Sun newspaper to sue London police over plebgate scandal

Legal proceedings by Sun newspaper to be launched against Britain’s Metropolitan police over seizure of phone records related to 2012 ‘Plebgate’ scandal

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The UK’s “Plebgate” scandal has taken a new twist with The Sun newspaper deciding to take legal action against London’s Metropolitan Police Service after they seized phone records showing the location of Sun’s journalists while they were covering the plebgate scandal.

The Plebgate, or Plodgate (after the British slang term for a police officer - plod), scandal began on September 19, 2012. A dispute arose between ex-cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell and Britain’s Metropolitan police after the ex-minister swore at police officers on duty, calling them “plebs,” meaning lower class people.

The former Chief Whip was prevented from exiting by the main gate of Downing Street, where most of the UK’s government offices are located, which infuriated him.

After the incident became public, the police searched for  the source who gave the story to The Sun after gaining permission to look into phone records between police and Mitchell under an anti-terrorism law.

An email was received by the Government's Deputy Chief Whip, John Randall. The sender was supposedly a pedestrian passer by who witnessed the incident.

However, on September 20, it was proven that the email was sent by a police officer.

Mitchell decided to sue The Sun newspaper in 2013 over its reporting of the allegations  but lost the case.

Sun journalists Tom Newton Dunn, Anthony France and Craig Woodhouse will present their case in front of five judges on July 22.

TRTWorld and agencies