UK & World News
Andrew Mitchell Resigns After 'Plebs' Row
Labour leader Ed Miliband has branded the Prime Minister "weak" after Andrew Mitchell's resignation as the Government's Chief Whip.
Mr Mitchell, who has been replaced by veteran MP Sir George Young, stepped down the wake of claims he called police officers "plebs" in Downing Street.
Labour Ed Miliband used the development to lash out at David Cameron, saying: "Andrew Mitchell didn't go because of what he did, he didn't go because of David Cameron's shame at what he did - he went because David Cameron was too weak to hang on to him.
"The problem is it's part of a pattern with this Government - a pattern of one rule for those at the top and another rule for everybody else."
Writing to the Prime Minister, Mr Mitchell said: "It is with enormous regret - not least because of the tremendous support and loyalty you have shown me during recent weeks - that I am writing to resign as your Chief Whip.
"Over the last two days it has become clear to me that whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter I will not be able to fulfil my duties as we would wish. Nor is it fair to continue to put my family and colleagues through this upsetting and damaging publicity.
"I have made clear to you - and I give you my categorical assurance again - that I did not, never have and never would call a police officer a "pleb" or a "moron" or used any of the other pejorative descriptions attributed to me."
He went on: "The offending comment and the reason for my apology to the police was my parting remark 'I thought you guys were supposed to f****** help us'.
"It was obviously wrong of me to use such bad language and I am very sorry about it and grateful to the police officer for accepting my apology."
In a letter to Mr Mitchell, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I understand why you have reached the conclusion you have, and why you have decided to resign from the Government.
"I regret that this has become necessary, and I am very grateful for all you have done, both in Government and in Opposition - as well as for the kind words in your letter."
Mr Cameron added: "As you have acknowledged, the incident in Downing Street was not acceptable and you were right to apologise for it."
Paying tribute to his work, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith tweeted: "Andrew Mitchell should be remembered as the best Development Secretary this country has had."
Michael Fabricant MP said online: "I spoke to Andrew yesterday about this and I was frank. This has been playing out like a long Greek tragedy and I hope that now he will take a break and rebuild his strength. He is a very able individual and I am sure he will return to public life in due course."
Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Michael Dugher MP said: "After weeks in complete denial, Andrew Mitchell has finally bowed to public pressure.
"What people will want to know is why, when the entire country could see that what Andrew Mitchell did was wrong, the Prime Minister totally failed to act."
Sky's Political Editor Adam Boulton said it was clear there was "very little support" for Mr Mitchell from fellow Tories.
"Even those who sympathised with him for losing his temper felt that he was damaging the Government," he said.
"There has been a lot of unrest from the present whips office about how they're going to maintain discipline with a Chief Whip who has damaged his own authority and reputation in this way."
The Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Paul McKeever, said: "It is not good to see anyone fall from public office but the decision by the Prime Minister to accept Andrew Mitchell's resignation seemed almost inevitable.
"Andrew Mitchell has apologised to our Metropolitan Police colleague and our colleague has accepted the apology. We hope this matter is now closed."
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what do you think?
I dont know what has been worse - the insufferable arrogance and mendacity of Mitchell or the breathtaking misjudgement of Cameron
Cameron, judgement? The two don't gel.
Resigned or did he he receive the grand old order of the boot from Dave?
Don't worry Andrew Sleep well tonight I'm sure by Monday your have another 50k position in Westminster Mp's don't resign they just move to another position.
And when it comes to election, remember that he's the Tory who expressed openly what the rest of them think of us but don't say openly.
And this has obviously got some on this site rather worried.
Bye Bye you pleb, this is not the type we want in politics
Mmmmmm. Well done Grant.
Grant That post took me by surprise, but thumbs up for being honest.
And still we wait for a single policy from Miliband and the Labour party
I don't see why he resigned. He should have had the guts to stand behind his remarks.
This just confirms what we all suspected - a police state is just around the corner. It's the Police Federation now that decides who occupies senior political posts in government. What happens when they fall out with (for example) with the Home Secretary? Will she be next? Back to the bad old days of the 1970's with Unions flexing their political muscle, it was the miners union, the power workers union and car workers then and it's the Police Federation now. The PF were after a scalp because, like the rest of us, the police have to tighten their belts and they don't like it.They have clearly aligned themselves with the Labour Party and what will they want in return from Ed? I don't blame Mr Mitchell as he had a complete lack of support from his leader, his fellow MP's and ministers. A sad day for democracy in the UK.
All we need now is a nice friendly copper to not allow Cameron and Clegg through the gate.
Are we suposed to feel sorry for him? I do not think so!
what on earth are you on mate?
You are being satirical, aren't you?
Elite? Noble? Respect? Respect is earned not a given. As for elite & noble, noble is as noble does & elitism went out with high button boots. Get over what? The 'man' was ill mannered & richly deserves the fate he has earned for himself. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap", stick that in your King James Version & smoke it!
It is highly unusual for thr noble to behave like this. He is just rich and privelged.
Oh, are you leaving Jasmine ?
Pleb. Is that it? Is that really what this is all about? The word 'pleb'.
And all because the ickle man couldn't ride his ickle bicycle through the gate. Good ridance! Lets see the next berk that Camoron appoints.
oh for heaven's sake - I'm sure there will be police officers on duty in our town centres tonight who get called far worse this and just let it go. I'm fairly certain this is undemocratic - when did he police get to decide who sat in Cabinet?
sorry the t on my keyboard has a hissy fit sometimes: the police
Agreed - and how did the contents of the police officer's notebook get to the newspapers?
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
no doubt millichump jr will reward himself tonight with an extra 10 mins reading his beano (by torchlight under the blankets). Probably an extra jelly tot or two as well.
Mitchell should count himself lucky the copper never had a taser. Oh yeah they only use them on blind people!!! Do we have any idea what the police complaints will do on that? Policeman had to make a call on that and couldn't tell the difference between a white stick and sword.