Judge rejects British politician's libel lawsuit, says he did call policemen 'plebs'

Britain's High Court has weighed in on a big scandal over one small word, saying a government minister probably did throw the "politically toxic" insult "plebs" at policemen.

Judge John Mitting on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by former Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell over the two-year furor, weighted with class and politics, that has been labeled "Plebgate."

Mitchell sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of the Sun, after the tabloid printed allegations by police officers that he had called them "plebs" — a derogatory term for working-class people — when they refused to let him cycle through the gates of London's Downing Street in September 2012.

The judge said he was satisfied "Mr. Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same."