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 104.

    What's Phil done now. he should be more like his brother.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    He appears to me to be a very angry bully who can't abide the plebs standing up to him. Clearly unqualified for the position of Chief Whip. House Master at Eton would me more appropriate for him...

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Members of the West Midlands Police Federation said Andrew Mitchell had "no option but to resign", following a meeting with the chief whip.
    Whats it got to do with West Midlands Police, it was a Met police officer he insulted, typical old Bill, poking their nose into things that don't concern them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I have no doubt Mitchell swore at the police and should have been sacked for it, but having read the transcript given or "sold" to the papers, it seems strange words to use, more in line with a caricature of a tory toff.

    Seems odd in this 24 hour media world of camera phones etc and it is said a lot of public witnesses present, no other evidence of the uttering of the word 'pleb' has appeared?

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    mitchell and pleb

  • Comment number 99.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Andrew Mitchel is my local MP and I had the misfortune of meeting him at a function in Sutton Coldfield a couple of years ago.

    If his work as Chief Whip is as bad as his jokes then he needs to be sacked.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    If the man had any sense of honour he would go. If he had been a hoodie he would have been arrested. for sure. The man is arrogant with illusions of grandeur, one of the 'Do you know who I am brigade'. Cameron is being made to look weak his inaction. Let's face it if the policeman had lost his rag he would have been disciplined.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    It's not what he said, it's the fact that he lost his cool & swore at a policeman who was there doing his job as part of the detail for his protection. Whatever he said, it shows a complete lack of respect for the police.
    I don't think he should be the chief whip. Knowing the tories, they'll find a little corner to hide him in for a while then bring him back, just like they did with David Laws

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    Trevor Watkins
    "More than one record of the incident in police notebooks. There was only one Mitchell present, so he doesn't have leg to stand on against the evidence of at least two policemen"

    Just a few which spring to mind, Hillsborough, Rachel Nickell, Cardiff 3

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    @69. No, you are also wrong. Politics has always governed policing by the very fact that politicians make laws.

    Police are duty bound to enforce it, not comment on it. If they feel that strongly about any governemnt initiative, they have the option of resigning.

    The police must stay out of politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    You can't tell me the incident wasn't seen by CCTV. I've heard there was no sound recording but can someone see their lips and work out what was said.
    In my opinion he is most probably the liar but he shouldn't be forced to quit, he shouldn't have the opportunity, he should be sacked if he abused an officer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    One rule for them, eradication of freedom of speech for us. Voting is a farce, and will NEVER change anything

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Mitchell is vermin and if he stays I for one will never vote Tory again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    I'm at a loss as to how some people seem to think the "apology" is enough. One party is lying - that's obvious. The police version is made available, but Mitchell, DC & William Hague will NOT tell us what Mitchell said: why?
    It matters little what offensiveness he said - what does matter is that he felt he was superior, and could behave how he wanted. Second point is integrity - who is the liar?

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    The fact that Mitchell is still hanging around like a bad smell says more about David Cameron's poor judgement and lack of firm leadership than anything. The guy will be forever associated with his contempt for the police and other "plebs" and needs to (how can I put this politely) vanish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Labour will not let this one go anytime soon. When Parliament resumes shortly he can expect some barbed taunts and continued questioning. The bottom line is that someone is lying....and I know who I'm inclined to believe!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Can we have some real news. Media and back stabbing others should realise a polce person is called far worse and on a daily basis. Get a life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Never mind sacking or resignation, why wasn't he arrested for disturbing the peace. Then hopefully charged, convicted and sent off to a medical lab for experimentation. If it would save the life of just one furry creature, then it'll all be worthwile.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    I'm absolutely sick & tired of hearing & seeing the police trying to undermine democracy in this country.

    No police officer is tasked with giving elected Members of Parliament the run-around at the gates of Downing Street - But it still happened. The police need slapping down on this because the have been permitted under labour to get far too big for their boots. Hillsborough anybody?


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