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

Thursday, May 5, 2016
The mayoral election winner will take over from Boris at City Hall (PA)

The polling stations for the 2016 London mayoral election close at 10pm tonight. Wondering what time the winner the mayoral election 2016 will be announced?

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Voters have been sent multiple polling cards in an administrative error (Picture: PA Images)

Hackney residents could potentially be voting more than once in today’s elections after being sent multiple polling cards, while others arrived to vote and realised they had been left off the register altogether.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Lola the Beagle is voting Left in the London Mayoral elections (Picture: @GraceTrev / Twitter)

We might not all be political animals, but London-dwelling dogs are. Today social media was flooded with pictures of puppies and their owners voting together in the London Mayoral election 2016.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
(Photo: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Voters in Barnet were turned away from polling stations if they didn’t have their polling cards, due to a mix-up with the electoral lists this morning

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Who will London elect?

Londoners will vote today to choose who will be Boris Johnson’s successor after his eight-year stint as Mayor of London.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
How tall is Zac Goldsmith? Is Siân Berry married? Google searches reveal what Londoners really care about (Picture: Getty / London24)

Is there any point voting for Caroline Pidgeon? Why was George Galloway ousted as an MP? Not the musings of the London24 news team, but the top questions typed into Google about the London Mayoral candidates. Take a look...

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

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
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! 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