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File photo dated 05/10/2010 of Andrew Mitchell, who will become the new chief whip in the coalition's first major reshuffle, Downing Street has announced. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday September 3, 2012. Mr Mitchell leaves his post as Secretary of State for International Development to replace Patrick McLoughlin in the key enforcer role for a Tory party that has become increasingly rebellious. See PA story POLITICS Coalition. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The official police log of Andrew Mitchell’s angry confrontation with Downing Street police records him describing officers as “plebs”.
A 442-word account of the incident, published for the first time in today’s Daily Telegraph, records the Chief Whip repeatedly refusing to comply with police requests and then swearing at officers.
He was told that it was “policy” for cyclists to use the pedestrian gate.
“Mr Mitchell refused, stating he was the chief whip and he always used the main gates,” the report goes on.
“I explained to Mr Mitchell that the policy was to use the side pedestrian gates and that I was happy to open those for him, but that no officer present would be opening the main gates as this was the policy we were directed to follow.
“Mr Mitchell refused. Repeatedly reiterating he was the chief whip... After several refusals Mr Mitchell got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him.”
He is then recorded as swearing and describing the officers as plebs. He was then warned he could be arrested for the abuse.
“Mr Mitchell was then silent and left saying ‘you haven’t heard the last of this’ as he cycled off.”
The embattled Chief Whip apologised yesterday for not treating the police with respect but denies using the words he is reported as saying.
He blamed his behaviour on having had “a long and extremely frustrating day”.
But he pointedly refused to answer questions about whether he had branded the police “plebs” - as their leaked written records of the exchange suggest.
The Sun newspaper claims he spent part of that day enjoying lunch at an upmarket Westminster curry house, the Cinnamon Club.
Ex-government adviser George McGregor told The Sun he was dining at the restaurant at the time near Mr Mitchell, and said: “He didn’t seem to be having a long and frustrating day to me.”
The Telegraph’s publication of the police log bolsters the officers’ account of the exchange and will place further pressure on Mr Mitchell despite cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood rejecting calls for a probe into the incident.