Andrew Mitchell has 'no option but to resign', says local police rep

Andrew Mitchell Mr Mitchell's future was the source of speculation during the Tory conference

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Members of the West Midlands Police Federation said Andrew Mitchell had "no option but to resign", following a meeting with the chief whip.

They said Mr Mitchell repeated a "profound apology with feeling" but continued to deny using the words attributed to him during an outburst at police officers outside Number 10.

This meant his position had become "untenable", they said.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called on Andrew Mitchell to be sacked.

Three representatives of the local Police Federation met Mr Mitchell for 45 minutes to discuss allegations the minister called Downing Street police officers "plebs".

Speaking to the media afterwards, Ken Mackaill, chairman of the West Mercia Police Federation, said Mr Mitchell refused to reveal what he actually said in the incident, apparently telling them he did not want a "fire fight with the police".

Prime Minister David Cameron and senior officers have said a line should be drawn under the matter following Mr Mitchell's previous apology, but pressure on Mr Mitchell continues.

Ken Mackaill speaking after his meeting with Andrew Mitchell: "He has no option but to resign"

'No confidence'

A leader column in the Daily Telegraph on Friday called on the chief whip to step down from the cabinet saying he is now a "laughing stock" and a "walking, talking embodiment of everything with which David Cameron would least like his party to be associated".

According to an opinion poll by YouGov, 50% of the public think the "plebs" row shows Conservative MPs see themselves as better than ordinary people.

The online survey of 1,710 people suggests 60% of the public believe Mr Mitchell's outburst "showed his true feelings", while 50% thought his behaviour and attitudes reflected those of other Conservative MPs. Just over half of respondents, 52%, thought he should resign.

Mr Mitchell's future was the source of speculation during this week's Tory conference, despite the Sutton Coldfield MP choosing not to attend, with ministers repeatedly asked about the incident.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told BBC Radio 5 live what Mr Mitchell had done was "really wrong" but he had apologised and he hoped the minister's meeting with the Police Federation would "clear the air".

Labour, which had previously called for the cabinet minister to provide further clarity on what he said to police officers, said the situation had gone on long enough.

'Pleb and proud'

"Neither the prime minister nor the chief whip have proved capable of coming clean swiftly and putting this right," said Ms Cooper.

"And it is now clear no one even in the Conservative Party has confidence in Andrew Mitchell either.

"The failure by David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell to take this incident seriously enough and to sort it out straight away means Andrew Mitchell will clearly not be able to instil respect in Parliament or beyond as chief whip, and this will just drag on and on.

"David Cameron needs to put an end to this now and remove Andrew Mitchell from his position as chief whip."

Last month, police officers protested outside Mr Mitchell's constituency office wearing T-shirt with the words "PC Pleb and Proud" printed on them and representatives have called for a full inquiry into the matter.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    It really is time for Mr. Mitchell to step down - enough's enough. He has become a total embarrassment for politians and to politics in general.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Any ordinary person being abusive to a police officer would face a night in the cells. Why is it these Tory Boys are incapable of understanding how to behave properly in public ? Having a silver spoon dangling out of their gob from an early age obviously distorts the words coming out of their mouths.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    So he called the copper a pleb!! sticks and stones... who cares??? try watching any of the Police reality shows and see what the teenagers are calling them!!! deal with it and get on with your lives.... is this such a big problem? only when Labour have nothing else to complain about!

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    It seems everyone is convinced that the police are telling the truth here. I for one have two points.
    1. Both the police & the government have plenty of form when it comes to untruths so how is it possible to decide - I don't trust one or the other.
    2. I can't be the only one who thinks both parties should have more constructive ways to spend their time with the country on it's knees.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    The very fact he won't reveal what he said confirms it was either what the Police said "****** Plebs" or even worse and he would have to resign or be sacked.
    The Tories treat the whole electorate as fools. Dave knows he's guilty, Mitchell does and everyone with a brain cell knows, but brass neck Dave just ploughs on regardless, actually treating us all like plebs.

    Truly shameful leadership.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    The police should stop moaning - it's not the end of the world to have somebody call you a name because they lose their temper. I suspect the officer in question was probably not entirely innocent in his/her attitude, either.

    It would be nice if everybody could stop 'boo-hooing' about the whole affair and get on with the many more important things going on in the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    what a plonker honourable he dose not know what the word means he sould have resined three weeks ago

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    3. MagicJohnson
    "The police should not be doing that in any civilised society, they have to stay out of politics"

    To late the Police have every right now! Police Commissionaire.
    They also have rights as you and me they are Human Beings who have to go by the Law of the Land

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Andrew Mitchell's avoidance of simply stating what he actually
    DID say is ridiculous. Over 3 weeks since Pleb-Gate and he
    still tries to avoid the issue that won't go away.

    It's time that Cameron grew a spine and sacked Mitchell not
    for what he did say, but for going to extreme lengths to not
    clarify what he did say.

    No wonder politicians are held in such low regard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Gosh what venom here expressed! Personally I can't stand Mitchell; he comes across and always has as 'I know it all' , a right arrogant sod. But until someone can play back the absolute hearing of that conversation no one will know for sure whether he used the word 'pleb' or any other for that matter. It is one's word against another.Maybe the policeperson involved had it in for this government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    The only conclusion that anyone can come to,is,someone ,is being honest and someone is not.Why not leave this matter to the Lawyers on both sides?

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Mitchell is school bully. Must go. Any chance of a government which wasn’t just after power and wealth for itself and its cronies (Con: the city – Lab: the unions)? None on the horizon, pity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Whatever ... the man's integrity is gone forever, Respectfully resign.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Interesting that the meeting was scheduled for the same day an investigation into the behaviour of the police at Hillsborough is announced.

    Just a little Machiavellian.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Not going to stand up for a politician, but I think I see both sides here. We too have some lets just say "over enthusiastic" police in my local area. They cant do anything about the yobs who steal lawnmowers from garden sheds, or arrest the pretty frequent bottle throwers, that leaves broken glass on the roads. But they can come and speak to you if you tell these yobs off!

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    This is just the most recent case of David Cameron refusing to see fault in any of his colleagues and chums no matter what the facts of the matter.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    The police should send their ex-colleague Simon Harwood round to see him.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    What a pleb!


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