Andrew Mitchell, the former Chief Whip and International Development Secretary, has paid £80,000 in libel damages to PC Toby Rowland, the police officer at the centre of the “Plebgate” affair.
At the end of a libel trial last year, brought by Mitchell against the Sun, a judge ruled that Mitchell had used the “politically toxic word pleb” in his altercation with Rowland and other officers at th gates of Downing Street. Rowland’s solicitor, Jeremy Clarke-Williams, told Mr Justice Warby: “The payment of £80,000 damages by Mr Mitchell sets the seal on PC Rowland’s vindication, as well as providing compensation for the injury to his reputation and the distress caused to him and his family over many months.”
He added: “PC Rowland never felt that the events in Downing Street were anything more than a minor incident. He was not responsible for the publicity which followed and would have much preferred that the whole matter had never entered the public domain. He now simply wishes to be left in peace to continue his police career.”
It is estimated that Mitchell’s legal bills will reach about £3m.