The head of the Police Superintendents Association has said the Andrew Mitchell affair has not been resolved.
Mr Mitchell, the Government Chief Whip, has apologised for verbally abusing a police officer at Downing St last week who refused to allow him to cycle out of the main gates of the Prime Minister’s residence.
However, he claims he did not use the words that the police officer filed in his report. Several newspapers have reported he swore at officers and called them "plebs".
Irene Curtis, speaking at a fringe at the Lib Dem conference organised by the Police Federation, ACPO and the PSA, said the matter is “unresolved”.
She said she has been “expressing frustration that Mr Mitchell has chosen not to say what he actually said to the officer and he was disputing the language that was actually used”.
“For me this has gone beyond the words that were actually used, it is an issue of integrity for the officer," she said.
“By challenging the officer’s version of event he is questioning that officer’s integrity. For a police officer, that is a really serious matter. I still feel that matter is unresolved.”
Paul McKeever from the Police Federation said it was “a deeply unattractive incident to say the least. We are pretty robust characters and we put up with a lot but we certainly don’t expect it from mmebrs of the government or anybody else for that matter.”
Sir Hugh Orde from ACPO said:
“The officer has accepted the apology.
"The officer exercised his discretion and that is what officers do every day of the week in all sort of complicated and difficult circumstances and we must respect the officer's decision at the time.”
He added that police chiefs hold their officers “in the highest regard”.
The police leaders also condemned plans to allow people “direct entry” into senior police roles with no previous experience of policing.
Ms Curtis said:
“It is an issue that we feel causes a real risk to the operational work that my members do. “
“My members do not sit behind a desk all day, they are at firearms incidents and investigating other serious matters, based on years and years of expeirnce in the service, and we have real concerns that this may be just a too high price to pay to get people into the service.”
Sir Hugh said his experience running the police in Northern Ireland had shown him “I cannot afford people on work experience at that level”, and pointed out senior officers make life or death decisions.