Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell this morning denied The Sun’s claims that he called a police officer a “pleb” at the gates of Downing Street despite the paper reportedly obtaining an official report into the altercation.
Mitchell repeated his apology to police in a statement this morning, admitting he did not show “the amount of respect I should have done”, but asked by a reporter whether he called the police officer a pleb he said (according to PA): “I want to make it absolutely clear that I did not use the words attributed to me.”
The Sun first made the allegations last week, claiming the officer targeted by the “foul-mouthed rant” told his superiors that Mitchell told him: “Best you learn your fucking place. You don’t run this fuckinging government. You’re fucking plebs.”
“The report, seen by The Sun, also confirms the Chief Whip repeatedly swore,” today’s report said.
“The explosive contents make it impossible for PM David Cameron to continue ignoring police and Labour demands for a full investigation.
“And it comes as the Cabinet Minister admitted to a friend that he swore — contrary to earlier denials.”
The Sun also claimed it that the report “is backed up by at least two officers making the same verbatim note of the full exchange in their pocket books”.
Mitchell refused to be drawn on what he actually said to the officer this morning.
"I have apologised to the police, I have apologised to the police officer involved on the gate and he's accepted my apology and I hope very much that we can draw a line under it there," he said.
According to The Sun, former Tory minister David Mellor “lashed out at police with a bribery smear in a bid to save Mr Mitchell’s skin”, claiming: “A police officer tipped off The Sun, and probably received money for doing so.”
But a spokesman for The Sun “that while it does not discuss its sources, no money has been offered, asked for or exchanged for any information about the Mitchell story”.