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 84.

    Re comment 13 marked down.
    Why not let the majesty of with this problem?
    The Police think they have been abused by a Politician?
    The Politician thinks the Police have shown scant respect for him?
    Must be lots of Lawyers queing up to represent both parties?

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    An example of camerons 'swift justice'.
    No different to rioters except not many of them wore a suit and tie.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    He should not be allowed to resign. He should be sacked. Long overdue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Is his position as untenable as was the the position of Lord Prescott after hitting out at someone after a fit of temper and which WAS caught on camera? Did he resign or was his behaviour only to be expected of Labour Ministers?

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    I am getting fed up of this incident. Agreed it was misguided of him to say what he did but nor crime of the century. Can people not see this is just the Police and the Police Federation trying to stoke it due their axe to grind with the Government over pensions, cuts and the Winsor report.
    Their are more important crimes to deal with, rather than wasting time on this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    The entrance to Downing Street must be one of the highest security areas in the UK, cameras and police with semiautomatic weapons everywhere. If there isn't a recording of the alleged event, both video and audio, the head of security there should be sacked well before Mitchell ! If there is a recording, release it so things can be sorted out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    It's a word I always liked 'pleb'.

    I was considering getting some t-shirts printed.

    "Proud to be a pleb"

    "I am not a pleb"

    Stick them on eBay, and make some money. Out of a rather dull story when you think about it.

  • Comment number 77.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Mr Mitchell version of events is somewhat different to the PC's so where are the witness statements from the "astonished" onlookers or the CCTV evidence?

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    A leader column in the Daily Telegraph on Friday called on the chief whip to step down from the cabinet.

    If the Torygraph is saying this then he is in big trouble as we all know that this right wing newspaper is in the Tories pockets and what the paper says today Cameron does tomorrow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Andrew Mitchell's words were taken down verbatim because his last throw away comment was, "you have not heard the last of this". This was guaranteed to get his words down in the book. One obscenity to a police officer gets you a warning, a second gets you the threat of arrest, the third gets you arrested. Andrew Mitchell must tell us exactly what he said and we can see how it matches the record.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    How is he still there? The man has no grace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Media and others blowing evrything out of proportion agan. Every policeperson is abused with far worse comments than this on a daily basis. Can we have some news please

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    For the Conservatives and the reputation of politicians, it is already too late for damage control. Sacking Mitchell, which should have happened weeks ago, will be correct but leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. More political miscalculation by this inept administration; and here's a Conservative speaking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    The Police Federation is using all its learnt skills of distraction and misdirection and the institutional self-importance to hide the disgraceful behaviour by them I saw in Salford in the fifties, Armthorpe in the eighties and Hillsborough in the later eighties.
    Assault and battery were and still are on occasion their watchwords.
    Their sticks have broken many bones of the "protected" public.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Its the Tories who have introduced politics into policing with their unwanted neocon americanisation of police forces with the new Police commissioners it is they who have started the changes and they will have to accept police representative becoming political.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    What is the point of this clown resigning? He'll only be replaced by another. What we need is a radical new government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    Its his word against their's. If we were Americans, we could just waterboard the lot of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    It would be in our country's national interest to keep Andrew Mitchell on to remind us what David Cameron and the Cons truly represent. And that is none of us!

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    If I insulted an officer while doing his duty what would happen?

    Nothing? Thought not.

    We are not "all in this together" especially scum like Mr Mouth.


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