The Sun says the police are investigating it for exposing Andrew Mitchell
THE Sun has been leading with news of Andrew Mitchell, the Chief Whip accused of calling a policeman a “fucking pleb” after a policeman told him he could nto ride his bicycle through the main gates on Downing Street. The front-page headlines so far:
September 26: ”Plebs minister blags a Jaguar – he “demanded a limo” for the “200-yard commute from his Downing Street office to the Commons”
September 25: “Now cop ‘pleb’ row minister claims outburst came after ‘a long and frustrating day.’ Presumably this included his gruelling lunchtime sesh at UK’s poshest curry house. It’s SPINDALOO”…
September 24: “Plebs Row: The Offical Report”
September 23: “On yer bike – Gate rant at woman PC”
September 21: “Cabinet Minister: Police are plebs”
No other story is more important to the Sun than this one.
It turns out that the Metropolitan Police are trying to find out how the Sun got the story. This is the Sun that has seen its writers investigated by the Met in light of the phone hacking scandal. Many have been arrested.
The Sun uses it editorial of September 25 to ask:
“What’s the most important aspect of the Andrew Mitchell scandal?”
The Sun then lists a few reasons why it thinks the story is important:
Mitchell abused a “rank-and-file police officer, on duty guarding HIS life”.
Mitchell “called him a ‘pleb’ – an insult laden with upper-class prejudice”.
Mitchell’s word is a “damning indictment of a CAbinet of ex-public schoolboys”.
It is “another mortal blow to David Cameron’s attempts to ‘detoxify’ the Tories”
The Sun adds:
“To them it’s more important to devote resources to uncovering how The Sun broke this story and attempting to expose the source who showed us evidence confirming what took place. As we have said, we neither paid nor offered any money for this exclusive. It is the result of what is known as journalism. The public interest could not be more clear-cut. Britain has a right to know if a high-ranking Government member brands police officers ‘morons’ and ‘plebs’.
“All that is lost on the Met. Their priority is to find, and shoot, the messenger. The odious ex-Cabinet Minister David Mellor helps their cause, baselessly and falsely accusing the source of taking a bribe, on national television. Yet even the Labour MP Tom Watson, no fan of The Sun, says our story is in the public interest and constitutes legitimate whistle-blowing. The Met’s official response is bizarre at best.”
The last line runs:
“At worst, it looks downright sinister”
You can read the police log here.