+++ Andrew Mitchell quits as Chief Whip over ‘Plebgate’

Breaking news this Friday evening:

Andrew Mitchell has quit as government chief whip after criticism for making rude remarks to police officers at the gates of Downing Street. Mr Mitchell apologised for his conduct but denied using the word “pleb” in exchanges last month. … The Prime Minister has accepted his resignation.

Maybe he’d have fared better with a more frank apology right from the start – I suggested some options here.

And in worse news for the Tories, George Osborne had become embroiled in a row about whether an aide refused to pay for a ticket upgrade when travelling in a first class carriage:

George Osborne has been forced to pay for an upgrade after sitting in a first class train carriage with a standard class ticket. An aide to Mr Osborne initially refused to pay the £160 supplement and said the chancellor did not want to move into standard class, Virgin Trains said.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Keith Browning 19th Oct '12 - 7:12pm

    I’m confused about this story??

    Is it – Chancellor reluctant to pay First Class fare for First Class journey or is it:- Chancellor reluctant to join the plebs in ‘cattle class’, or possibly is it a combination of BOTH of the above.

    Another billboard poster for the next election I think..!!

  • “Oik” getting above himself

  • Osborne ‘s Tory train off the rails!

    “We’re all in this together”……… NOT.

    ‘The Great Train Snobbery’. 🙂

  • John Heyworth 20th Oct '12 - 10:00am

    whilst I’m no supporter of Andrew Mitchell I can’t help feel that he has been a victim of a police smear campaign. Yes, he swore art them – “you’re supposed to f****** help us”- this he accepts and apologises for. But he again catagorically denies calling them “plebs” or “morons”. I read the mysteriousley leaked police report into the matter and it states his outburst came: “…in full view of membvers of the public.” Given the high “quality” of our tabloid journalists I find it somewhat incredulous that not one member of the public who witnessed this outburst has been found by the press to give their version of events! Perhaps the reason being it didn’t happen quite as the disgruntled police officers claim….Just a thought!

  • “worse news for the Tories”

    Er, who put these guys in office?

  • Stephen Donnelly 20th Oct '12 - 1:07pm

    Of course I am not generally a supporter of Andrew MItchell, but I am also not sure that a government minister cycling out through the gates of parliament was really a threat to national security. His anger at the police was unbecoming and needed an apology, but so did the ‘jobs worth’ attitude of the police. The Police Federation appear have been involved in the leaking of information to the press, who are still smarting after the Leveson inquiry. That should lead to an arrest, but I have little faith that it will. There are bigger issues, and other agendas at play here, and we need to be careful to support the liberal side, rather than follow the tribal lead offered by Labour. We all remember where their support for national security above all else led us.

    As for Osborne on the train, this is just an over excited twitter story. Government ministers should have open first class tickets, as most senior Civil Servants would.

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