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 18, 2015
Your future Mayor? [Image from YouTube]

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Ivan Massow, has transformed himself into a cartoon character in order to get the top job.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Protestors are surrounded by police (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

All but one of 15 people arrested during a spontaneous anti-austerity protest against the new Tory government have been bailed, police said today.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Voters in Hampstead voted for Ronnie Carroll, who is dead (PA)

A total of 113 people voted for a parliamentary candidate who died four weeks before the election.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Ed Balls has lost his seat (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Balls became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous General Election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result. Twitter reacted to his demise...

Friday, May 8, 2015
Simon Hughes has lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat after more than three decades (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Much-loved senior Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes has lost his Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat after 32 years.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has won a seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Boris Johnson has succeeded in his bid for a Commons comeback after winning the seat for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London.

Breaking News

Friday, May 22, 2015

There are severe delays on the Central Line after a woman was hit by a Tube train.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more