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Police chief was 'misrepresented'

A chief constable has hit back at an influential committee of MPs after he came under fire for evidence linked to the aftermath of the plebgate row.

Andy Parker from Warwickshire Police wrote to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Monday, accusing members of having misrepresented what he had said during an evidence session on October 23, and in a subsequent letter on October 28.

Mr Parker said: "I have now had time to reflect on the manner in which you have dealt with my evidence, both written and oral, to the Home Affairs Select Committee and I am concerned that you appear to have misrepresented what I have said in a way that is likely to mislead the public.

"I would ask that you publicly correct the misleading statements that have been made which I consider damaging to my reputation and that of the force.

"Throughout this matter I have endeavoured to act with integrity and transparency - I will continue to do so and look forward to your response."

He was hauled before MPs after three Police Federation representatives - Inspector Ken MacKaill, Detective Sergeant Stuart Hinton and Sergeant Chris Jones - were questioned over accusations that they gave misleading accounts of a meeting with former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in October last year.

Senior officers from the forces they represent - Warwickshire, West Midlands and West Mercia - found that no further action should be taken against the three, but this is now under re-investigation by watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

During a grilling by the committee last month, Mr Hinton was told that his chief constable Mr Parker believed that the process that led to the three being cleared was flawed, and that he wanted the matter looked at again.

However, in his letter of October 28, Mr Parker said he believed the correct process had been followed, and that the decision not to take action against the three officers was "rational and can be justified".

He also raised concerns that Mr Hinton had been badly affected by the apparent misrepresentation of his chief constable's views.

Mr Parker said: "It was obvious to me, and others watching DS Hinton, that the assertion made by you had a visible impact upon him, his demeanour changed and he was clearly shaken.

"From that point on, it seemed that his position changed from a witness to him believing that he may potentially be facing a subsequent misconduct hearing and therefore his approach to giving evidence changed significantly.

"He was, no doubt, considering very carefully the answers he gave in light of an incorrect belief that I had significantly changed my stance."

This led committee chairman Keith Vaz to accuse Mr Parker of trying to correct Mr Hinton's evidence, a claim that the chief constable rejects.


From Belfast Telegraph