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 2.

    More contrived outrage from Labour and their union hoods. Has anyone heard Labour say anything serious on a major subject in the last year? I have not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I would not be at all surprised to find that the federation concerned set this guy up. The response from them was completely out of proportion to the outburst. And far too cooordinated for comfort.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Yawn. More personal smear tactics from Labour, who truly are the Nasty Party. But they have nothing useful to say on the things that really matter. How did we end up with such a low quality and brutish set of people as HM Opposition?

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    More contrived outrage from Labour and their union hoods. Has anyone heard Labour say anything serious on a major subject in the last year? I have not.

    Probably because nobody knows where they are with this lot U turn after U turn what was maybe true on monday is not usually true on a tuesday bit like Mitchell really it was the day he said it as well two brave officers had been murdered

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Why is every minor setback 'serious' to political journalists? To the public the man is a backroom political fixer, not a minister of State. What he says and does has no impact on policy or this countries standing in the world. It is political point scoring. Let's move on.


Comments 5 of 117



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