Andrew Mitchell resignation: A setback for Cameron


Andrew Mitchell has resigned as the government Chief Whip.

He asked to see the Prime Minister after he returned from the EU Summit in Brussels.

I spoke to Mr Mitchell while he was still at the prime minister's country retreat and he told me that he no longer felt he could be an effective chief whip responsible for the discipline of Conservative MPs.

He had reached this conclusion after spending four days back in the House of Commons following the party conferences.

During that time he was the focus of Ed Miliband's questioning of the prime minister at question time in the Commons and the subject of a debate amongst Tory backbenchers about whether he could stay.

In addition, his Deputy John Randall had a meeting with the prime minister in Number 10 after some critics of Mr Mitchell claimed that he would resign if his boss didn't.

This is a serious setback for David Cameron as he held onto Mr Mitchell instead of sacking him straight after his angry clash with a policeman on the gates of Downing Street.

The prime minister repeatedly insisted that his Chief Whip had apologised, the apology had been accepted and that was the end of the matter. It wasn't.

Mr Mitchell will not be doing interviews but will, he tells me, seek to deliver a personal resignation statement in the Commons early next week.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    another political storm in a tea cup wound up by nick robinson and his type who live in the Westminster bubble. Most normal people could not care less, but these self important windbags have nothing else better to do. Since the election his type are just waiting for the next non story to get worked up about. This is why nobody bothers to vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.


    I am simply not surprised at this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    If I had sworn at a police officer without using pleb I would have been arrested on a public order offense, why wasn't Mitchell? He should have been sacked on the spot.

    My guess is he was given an ultimatum, sort it or go, it isn't like ministers to resign, they'll cling like barnacle's on their jobs.

    He's a grown man, a servant of the crown. He could have said, "Oh, OK" but he chose not to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    113.Eddy from Waring

    Who cares in some ways what they do/do not think. It is sheer incompetance of the Coalition that bugs disaster after another, one resignation after another, one u turn after another, one off the hoof policy annoucement after another......

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    I think his resignation misrepresents the tories.

    I'd be quite surprised if a large section of them didn't hold identical views of the average person.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    109.Brownandsmelly - "........And the idea that the police must be telling the truth ....! Are people really that stupid?"

    Absolutely implicit in your statement is that you believe the MP was telling the truth.....the idea that an MP would tell the truth! Are people really that stupid.......

    The only thing we know for sure is he swore at them, for that alone it is right he's gone......

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.


    Regardless of whether or not he used the 'P' word he has admitted swearing at a Police Officer.....

    All the media have been running this story & rightly so - those who proport to lead us should first set an example, which Mtichel singularly failed to do...

    ...the real scandal is that it took him so long to do the honourable thing & resign...

  • Comment number 110.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    This whole episode is nothing short of scandalous. This story has been reignited by the media and in particular the BBC (in support of Labour) who were desperate for a scalp and to deflect attention from Sir Jimmy's activities at the Beeb! So someone lost their rag with a jobsworth - haven't we all. And the idea that the police must be telling the truth ....! Are people really that stupid?

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    This was another misjudgement by Cameron to believe that Mitchell could be effective as Whip after Plebgate. Cameron should have foreseen it coming, but then again there are so many thinbgs that Cameron never foresaw as coming.
    As he himself has said he focuses on what matters and keeps aspiring.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    I'm sure I can't be alone in thinking why Labour,as the official opposition,can find nothing more to do than jump on petty issues like this rather than coming up with real,serious alternatives to policies of this coalition.They can't seriously think this is winning them votes can they?

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    "....the BBC are like piranha once they get their collective teeth into something especially to do with the Conservatives they will not let go....."

    Oh do grow up.

    There is NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in how the Beeb have covered this story & how they covered the various Peter Madleson scandals......& rightly so on all those occasions.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    102: Biscuit.
    I couldn't agree with you more, the BBC are like piranha once they get their collective teeth into something especially to do with the Conservatives they will not let go. Personally I think it is disgraceful, particularly as the opposition is hopeless, inept, and without any new policies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Politicans were quick to label last year's rioters "ferral youths".....

    .....what does swearing at Police Officers make Mitchell....???????

    And what kind of example does he think is setting our youngsters...???

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Although I'm personally not that horrified at the notion of calling a policeman a pleb, the point does remain annoyingly unresolved.

    Mitchell 'categorically denies' it, police reports say he did.

    So, either a tory politician is lying or the cops have fabricated evidence. They've 'fitted him up'.

    The track record of tory politicians and the police make either scenario eminently believable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Yes the BBC is obsessed with this story - what's more, they make it more and more obvious that they are politically biased, ie siding with Labour, when they claim not to be. I'm sick of the subject. I wish the BBC would behave in a more dignified manner, and move on, but some hope.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Is it just me or are the Coalition on course to set a record for the most Cabinet Secretaires/Ministers resigning in a first term...???

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Bbc seems obsessed with this story. Surely there's more important things going on to have as the main front page news.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    It certainly is a setback for PM, but certainly not advantage point for Milliband. This matter has certainly demonstrated both parties need new leaders.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    For the record, I am calling everyone who defends the indefensible, Lab, Tory or otherwise, hippocrits......


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