‘Pleb’ row chief whip Andrew Mitchell is ‘toast’ says Ed Miliband
CHIEF whip Andrew Mitchell was described as “toast” today by Labour leader Ed Miliband as pressure mounted on him to resign over his alleged verbal assault on a police officer.
• Miliband reads out police logs which recorded pleb comments in parliament
• Call for Andrew Mitchell to come clean on what was actually said
During the first Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) since the party conference season, Mr Mitchell’s future took centre stage as he appeared to react to jibes from Mr Miliband over allegations that he called a police officer a “pleb” and swore at him.
But a greater threat for the man charged with keeping discipline on the government benches came from a meeting of the influential Conservative back-bench 1922 Committee last night, where there were calls for Mr Mitchell to resign.
Most MPs at the meeting backed him but several said he had to go. Leading the attack was former whip James Dudridge, who said: “He does not have the full support of the parliamentary party [or] the whips office.”
Before the meeting, committee vice-chairman John Whittingdale refused to endorse the chief whip, simply saying that appointments were “a matter for the Prime Minister”.
The latest TNS BMRB poll showed the issue appeared to have had an impact on Tory support, which was down two points to 29 per cent, 13 points behind Labour, despite being taken during the Tory conference, when the party would normally expect a boost.
Mr Miliband used PMQs to launch a furious attack on Mr Mitchell, insisting he should have been arrested like any other “yob” who had sworn at officers. At one point Mr Mitchell reacted to Mr Miliband, appearing to say “not true” – sparking calls for him to “come clean”.
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