Profile: Andrew Mitchell

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A SELF-CONFESSED “stern disciplinarian” said to have earned the nickname “Thrasher” at school, Andrew Mitchell, 56, was installed as the government’s chief whip in the last reshuffle.

He is noted for his ambition, and admits having a “competitive streak” – though he insists he is not “ruthless”.

While a child in Hampshire, his father, Sir David, was elected as a Conservative MP and served as a minister under Margaret Thatcher.

The father and son’s time in the Commons coincided for a decade after the younger Mitchell became MP for Gedling, Nottinghamshire, in 1987.

Mr Mitchell, a former soldier who served as a UN peacekeeper in Cyprus in the 1970s, was made Tory vice-chairman under John Major, and was a government whip during the notorious rebellion over the Maastricht Treaty.

He lost his seat in the Labour landslide of 1997, but was elected again in Sutton Coldfield in 2001, and was international development secretary before the reshuffle.