New twist in 'Plebgate'
THE 'plebgate' row that engulfed Andrew Mitchell, above, was sparked by a police officer who posed as a member of the public and falsely claimed to have witnessed the events, it was said last night.
The officer allegedly wrote to his local MP giving details of the Chief Whip's behaviour when he was blocked from cycling out of the main gates in Downing Street.
Number 10 said the claims – which emerged after a member of the diplomatic protection squad was arrested – were "extremely serious".
"Any allegations that a serving police officer posed as a member of the public and fabricated evidence against a Cabinet Minister are exceptionally serious," a spokesman said. "It is therefore essential that the police get to the bottom of this as a matter of urgency."
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However, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has insisted he has seen nothing to undermine the official account of officers who were there.
CHRISTMAS presents destined for sick youngsters at Great Ormond Street Hospital have been stolen by thieves in what has been described as a "disgusting" crime "beyond belief".
Up to 20 wrapped gifts were taken from the world-famous children's hospital in central London between Friday and Monday, the Metropolitan Police said.
The presents, which had been bought using the hospital's charity fund, included portable DVD players, DVDs, Nintendo DS games consoles, games and toys and were to be given to children in the intensive care unit.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said he found it hard to imagine a worse crime due to the timing and the victims involved.
Speaking on radio station LBC 97.3, he said: "It's pretty disgusting really, isn't it? You can't imagine anything worse in a way: children who are very ill and at Christmas.
Lord Sugar, Currys and PC World have offered to pay for new presents."