Andrew Mitchell resignation: PM will pay for loyalty
Day after day Andrew Mitchell refused to bow to calls on him to go. Day after day David Cameron backed him.
Day after day the story simply didn't die, until yesterday when the former soldier appointed to instil some discipline into Tory ranks lost the will to fight.
He was brought down by the determination of the Labour Party to present Andrew Mitchell as a symbol of what they claim is wrong with this government, namely that it believes in one rule for themselves and another for everyone else.
And by the Police Federation who used him in their battle against cuts to police numbers, pensions and perks. But ultimately Andrew Mitchell was brought down by himself.
The arrogance and the abrasiveness which made David Cameron choose him as Chief Whip meant that he had far too few friends when things went wrong. Few ministers, few backbenchers rushed to his defence and instead many muttered that he really ought to quit.
David Cameron's friends say the Prime Minister believes in loyalty and giving people a second chance. But not for the first time he's going to pay a significant political price for that.