Watch: PMQs: ‘A night in the cell for yobs, a night at the Carlton Club for Mitchell’

Ed Miliband went on the attack over 'pleb gate' at the first post-conference season Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament today, reports Shamik Das.

 

Ed Miliband went on the attack over ‘pleb gate’ at the first post-conference season Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament today, attacking chief whip Andrew Mitchell, criticising David Cameron’s failure to act, and comparing the leniency shown him with that meted out to a yob who behaved similarly.

Miliband said:

“If a yob in a city centre, on a Saturday night, abused a police officer, ranting and raving, the chances are they’d be arrested and placed in the back of a police van, and rightly so, and the prime minister would be the first in the queue to say it was right. But while it’s a night in the cell for the yobs, it’s a night at the Carlton Club for the chief whip. Isn’t that the clearest case there can be of total double standards?”

Adding:

“Here is the truth about this government, while everybody else loses their jobs, the chief whip keeps his. If you’re a millionaire, you get a tax cut, if you’re everybody else, you get a tax rise. They’re totally out of touch. With this government, there’s one rule for those at the top, one rule for everyone else.”

Watch it:

Here is the exchange on Mitchell in full:

Ed Miliband: “Another promise broken – and they’re not just breaking their promises, it’s their conduct as well. This is, this is, this is what the Mayor of London said, this is what the Mayor of London, his new best mate, said last year at Conservative Party conference:

“I reckon we need to make it clear that if people swear at the police then they must expect to be arrested.”

“Oh well, he says he didn’t, he says from a sedentary position he didn’t say that, maybe he’ll tell us what he did say. According to the official police report, and I quote, “a man, claiming to be the chief whip, called the police ‘plebs’, told them they should ‘know their place’, and used other abusive language”; can the prime minister now tell us, did the chief whip use those words?

David Cameron: “What the chief whip did, and what the chief whip said were wrong, right, I’m absolutely clear about that, and I’ve been clear throughout, and that’s why it’s important that the chief whip apologised, that apology has been accepted by the officer… What the chief whip did and said was wrong, and that is why it is important that he apologised, and apologised properly, that apology has been accepted by the officer concerned, it’s been accepted by the head of the Metropolitan Police, and that is why this government will get on with the big issues of helping Britain compete and succeed in the world.”

EM: “No straight answers on police numbers, and no straight answers on the chief whip, and Mr Speaker, just because a police officer… He says it’s the ‘real issues’ – I think it is a real issue, abusing police officers. Just because a police officer has better manners than the chief whip, it doesn’t mean he should keep his job. Now, if a yob in a city centre, on a Saturday night, abused a police officer, ranting and raving, the chances are they’d be arrested and placed in the back of a police van, and rightly so, and the prime minister would be the first in the queue to say it was right. But while it’s a night in the cell for the yobs, it’s a night at the Carlton Club for the chief whip. Isn’t that the clearest case there can be of total double standards?

DC: “This apology has been accepted by the police officer, it’s been accepted by the head of the Metropolitan Police, it’s clearly not gonna be accepted by the leader of the opposition, because he doesn’t want to talk about what need to do in this country to get our deficit down, because he’s got no plans, he doesn’t want to talk about how we build on our record on employment, because he’s got no plans, he doesn’t want to talk about how we reform welfare, because he’s opposed to welfare caps. That is the truth, he wants to discuss these issues because he’s got nothing serious to say about the country.”

EM: “Here’s the most extraordinary thing, Mr Speaker, they say that I practice class war, and they go round calling people plebs! Can you believe, can you believe it. And I have to say it’s good to see the cabinet in their place supporting him in public, but in the newspapers, what are they saying in private? “He’s completely undermined”; “his position is untenable” – in other words, he’s toast, and that is the reality, and here is the truth about this government, while everybody else loses their jobs, the chief whip keeps his. If you’re a millionaire, you get a tax cut, if you’re everybody else, you get a tax rise. They’re totally out of touch. With this government, there’s one rule for those at the top, one rule for everyone else.

DC: “Now we know, Mr Speaker, he wrote those questions yesterday before unemployment fell. Yes, let me, just because he obviously wasn’t listening earlier, let me remind him – employment is up 212,000, that’s a success; unemployment down 50,000 this quarter, that’s a success; the claimant count down 4,000, that’s a success. Typical, he comes to this House, he’s written out his clever political questions, he doesn’t care what’s really happening in our economy.”

The chief whip remains, a daily reminder of all that the public think is wrong with the Tory Party leadership’s attitude towards regular people, their perceived contempt for the many; the re-toxification of Cameron’s Conservatives shows no sign of ending.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

3 Responses to “Watch: PMQs: ‘A night in the cell for yobs, a night at the Carlton Club for Mitchell’”

  1. Jim Crowder

    If all Milliband can pin on DC is the allegation about a cabinet member abusing a police officer, now old news, then he’s seriously struggling. Does everyone who is alleged to have insulted a police officer get this from the Labour Party even if the police choose not to take it further, or is it just partisan politics again, designed to alienate the general public?

  2. treborc1

    Yep he did great at annoying Cameron the question is one labour will carry on with, but the public really could not care a dam, what they want to know is why labour said sod all about jobs, recession or getting unemployment down.

    I note Balls is still looking like an add on.

  3. Newsbot9

    So something which would carry a jail sentence for Peons is excusable in a Ruler. Got it.

Leave a Reply