The latest developments on the fallout of Andrew Mitchell's rant at Downing Street police officers.
Pressure continues to mount on Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell with his apology this morning failing to calm the anger directed towards him.
Confusion still surrounds the exact language he used in his infamous rant last week, with the police quoting one version of events and Andrew Mitchell denying the use of words such as ‘pleb’ and that his swearing was directed at the policeman, but more an expression of frustration aimed at nobody in particular.
The need for him to fully explain what happened has been prompted by today’s Sun newspaper revealing the police report into the incident. The report states in no uncertain terms that Andrew Mitchell swore repeatedly at the police.
With this contradication of events it is clear one party is not telling the truth; public opinion shows many believe the police’s version of events and wish Mitchell to resign – a Guardian poll found 88% believe he should.
Business secretaryVince Cable, meanwhile, openly mocked his coalition ally’s discomfort in his speech to the Lib Dem conference today:
“I’ve been told that jokes about social class are not good for the unity of the coalition, but as a mere pleb I couldn’t resist it.”
Downing Street continues to give its backing to Mitchell, expressing “full confidence” in the chief whip, saying he took the “correct action”.
Further awkward questions were prompted by a report of a man arrested during the riots, who had not stolen anything and had not meant to be there. His only crime was swearing at a policeman – he was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail.
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