Andrew Mitchell is 'dead man walking' as 'pleb' log published
Chief Whip is disliked across the Conservative party: he may not lose his job, but he is finished
ANDREW MITCHELL is a "dead man walking" after the publication this morning of an official police log which lays out in black and white the complete contempt of the Government Chief Whip for the police guarding Downing Street.
That is the verdict given to the Mole by one of Mitchell's senior Tory ministerial colleagues. "He's a nasty piece of work," added the minister. "And he's disliked right across the party at Westminster. He may not lose his job, but he's finished."
In the view of this minister, Mitchell has blown his chances of functioning as a Chief Whip. David Cameron and his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg have both rallied to Mitchell's defence, but the Prime Minister has now to decide whether he can run a government with a Chief Whip that few of his colleagues respect, or whether it would be wiser to move him out of the hot seat.
A bigger question arises from the publication of the official police log of the incident at the gates of Downing Street this morning by The Daily Telegraph: who is lying - the police or the Chief Whip?
The note was written immediately after the incident, because the police feared Mitchell would make a formal complaint. The note details that, last Wednesday evening, Mitchell was speaking to a female Pc, who is named in the log, "demanding exit through the main vehicle gate into Whitehall".
The Chief Whip was told that it was "policy" for cyclists to use the pedestrian gate but he claimed that he "always used the main gates" and initially refused to do otherwise.
A colleague of the female officer who wrote the incident report continues: "After several refusals, Mr Mitchell got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him.
"There were several members of public present as is the norm opposite the pedestrian gate and as we neared it, Mr Mitchell said: 'Best you learn your f****** place… you don't run this f****** government... you're f****** plebs.'"
The officer noted that members of the public looked "visibly shocked" by Mitchell's language and the Chief Whip was warned that he if he continued to swear he would be arrested under the Public Order Act.
The police record notes: "Mr Mitchell was then silent and left saying 'you haven't heard the last of this' as he cycled off."
Mitchell insisted he had not spoken the "words attributed to me". But the Mole fears that not many fellow Tory MPs are likely to believe him, especially as he has not been prepared to state exactly what he did say.
Cameron would do well to think again, and move Mitchell before the MPs return to the Commons.
With the Lib Dems threatening to resist the planned £10bn cuts in welfare unless there are more taxes on the middle classes, Cameron is going to need all the discipline he can muster to hold the coalition together. Mitchell is no longer the man to administer it.