Andrew Mitchell “swore in frustration”

10:36 23 September 2012

Andrew Mitchell swore in frustration, a source has said. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Andrew Mitchell swore in frustration, a source has said. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell admits swearing at No 10 police officers but insists he did not call them “plebs”, it was reported today.

The Tory enforcer concedes that he said a swear word when a member of Scotland Yard’s Diplomatic Protection Group, SO6, refused to let him cycle out through the main Downing Street gates, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Mitchell is reported to have said: “Look, I’m the chief whip, I work at Number 9 (Downing Street),” before muttering a line which included an expletive.

A friend of the minister told the newspaper: “He does not dispute he lost it a bit.

“It was in frustration at the episode and not aimed directly at the officers. It was the fourth time he had been at Downing Street that day - he is frequently allowed to use the main gate on his bike.

“He is absolutely not accusing anyone of lying.”

When allegations about the tirade were published on Friday, Mr Mitchell issued a statement denying using “any of the words that have been reported”.

The friend added: “He realises there may be differing versions of what was said but he is adamant he did not use the words he is reported to have used.”

Mr Mitchell has faced calls to resign over the angry rant, with details emerging as Prime Minister David Cameron headed to Manchester on Friday to pay his respects to murdered Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.

The Prime Minister was told to take responsibility for the Tory enforcer’s behaviour by the widow of murdered police officer Sharon Beshenivsky and Labour called on him to “urgently” review the evidence.

Paul Beshenivsky, whose wife was killed on duty in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in November 2005, told Sky News: “David Cameron should be responsible for what his ministers say, they are his ministers and they are working with him.

“Ministers shouldn’t be going round foul-mouthing police officers, especially under the current circumstances.”

John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, has called on Mr Mitchell to quit over his “abusive” outburst.

But seasoned politician Ken Clarke, minister without portfolio, defended his colleague

He said: “I have known Andrew for a long time and he is a perfectly reasonable, courteous man with the same high regard for the police services as anyone else.

“He obviously had a flare of bad temper on this occasion and has rightly apologised. I do think this should be allowed to set the matter at rest.”

In a statement on Friday Mr Mitchell, who was also a minister under John Major in the early 1990s, said: “On Wednesday night I attempted to leave Downing Street via the main gate, something I have been allowed to do many times before.

“I was told that I was not allowed to leave that way. While I do not accept that I used any of the words that have been reported, I accept I did not treat the police with the respect they deserve.

“I have seen the supervising sergeant and apologised, and will also apologise to the police officer involved.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, May 23, 2016
Mr Cameron and politicians from different political parties are campaigning to remain in the European Union ahead of the referendum on June 23. (Photo by Jack Taylor - Pool/Getty Images)

David Cameron made an early morning trip to a supermarket in Hayes yesterday along with Labour MP Harriet Harman.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Big Ben will stop ticking for months (Picture: Getty)

One of London’s best loved landmarks, Big Ben, is about to fall silent after hundreds of years bringing in the hour at Westminster - and you will be able to watch it not chiming every single second of every day.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Donald Trump and Sadiq Khan don't seem to be friends (Picture: PA Images / London24)

Donald Trump made an ominous-sounding statement as he continued his war of words with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Protestors marching on Holloway Prison to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities (Picture: Ken Mears)

Jeremy Corbyn joined protesters for a march on Holloway Prison in protest at the government’s housing bill.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Commuters travelling on the District Line during a Tube stirke in 2014 (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Union leaders are calling for urgent talks with new London mayor Sadiq Khan to discuss issues they warn pose the biggest threat to transport services in the capital.

Friday, May 13, 2016
(Photo: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

The London Assembly has called for Barnet Council to be stripped of the responsibility of running the EU referendum, following problems at last week’s Mayoral elections that Assembly members deemed a ‘meltdown’ and ‘fiasco’.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport