Hit or Miss? Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell apologises over police row

The controversy over chief whip Andrew Mitchell's outburst to police at the gates of Downing Street continues to rumble on following the incident that took place last Wednesday.

Whipping boy: Andrew Mitchell
Whipping boy: Andrew Mitchell

Mitchell issued an apology in which he said 'it had been the end of a long and extremely frustrating day', but it emerged that he had enjoyed lunch at Westminster restaurant The Cinnamon Club. A police log appears to confirm the word 'pleb' was used.


Jonathan McLeod, Chairman of UK corporate, financial and public affairs, Weber Shandwick

'Gate-gate' is perhaps the coalition's biggest PR bike crash to date. The handling seems to have been driven by the desire to 'draw a line under' the issue without coming entirely clean on it. Bad mistake - especially when The Sun is making the story its own.

I never thought I'd suggest that anyone should take a leaf out of Nick Clegg's book, but maybe Andrew Mitchell should have done his mea culpa big and early, instead of slow, late and in instalments. Pleading you've had a hard day at work, only for it to emerge that you had lunch at the Cinnamon Club, wasn't likely to work.

Worst of all, he'd never give a straight answer to the 'pleb' question. The whiff of hubris hangs heavy in the air, with sniping from the Lib Dems and little support from Tory colleagues. Brand Cameron retoffed. Brand Tory retoxified.


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