The home affairs committee has seen several people today from the police and connected services in connection with the incident surrounding Andrew Mitchell.
The good news is that the senior investigating officer [Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams] has made clear [and been allowed to make clear] the circumstances around the final report after the investigation and how the conclusions were changed. The Chief Inspector followed the mandate laid down by the IPCC and produced a report accordingly, however, his conclusions were over ruled by the three Chief Constables and so the rift began.
The bad news is that the three federation representatives followed and stuck to their story that they didn't believe that Andre Mitchell had told the truth and so made the media announcement at that time. To give Keith Vaz MP and his team credit, they were not so wishy-washy as select committees usually are and were quite firm in their questioning, however, they did not break down the barriers between the politicians and the federation.
The three Chief Constables turned up at different times, which was not explained by the chair.
Chief Constable David Shaw, West Mercia Police announced that he had sent a message to Andrew Mitchell with an apology for what has happened, however, he did not think there should be any more investigations into the matter of how Andrew Mitchell had been handled. He used wording during his answers which appeared to throw doubt on what Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams has said earlier, specifically that he had followed orders from the IPCC in respect of how the report should be handled although they have now been found to be unlawful. This is bizarre. He also appeared to have an agenda that was not going to be shifted by the committee.
When the three Chiefs eventually got together, rather than showing a consolidated front going forward, they all had different positions to make and it became surreal listening to them explain why they would or would not be taking actions in the future. If they think a simple apology to Andrew Mitchell will allow the public to move on and respect the police again, then they are mistaken.