March 11 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, October 20, 2012
A Norfolk MP said the government chief whip at the centre of the “pleb-gate” row with police did the ‘honourable thing’ after he resigned.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Andrew Mitchell said it had become clear that “I will not be able to fulfil my duties as we would both wish”.
But he again denied calling the officers “plebs” after they refused to let him cycle out of the main gate at Downing Street nearly a month ago.
Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP and care services minister, said: “He’s acted appropriately. It’s not a matter for us because it’s an internal Conservative Party matter but he’s in a way done the honourable thing in resigning the position he was in. I think that’s all I would like to say.”
Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, who became an assistant government whip in 2010, and is now parliamentary secretary to the cabinet office, was asked about Mr Mitchell’s resignation, but said she would “decline to comment” on the matter.
Mr Mitchell’s announcement came at the end of a week in which Mr Mitchell had been put under renewed pressure to quit by Labour MPs.
Yesterday Labour leader Ed Miliband used the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the incident last month to denounce Mr Mitchell, saying he should have been arrested like any other “yob” who had sworn at officers.
And at last night’s weekly meeting of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee at Westminster, four Tory MPs were said to have voiced concerns about Mr Mitchell’s position.
Prime Minister David Cameron insisted yesterday that Mr Mitchell had apologised to the officer concerned and that the apology had been accepted.