By Alex Stevenson
Andrew Mitchell has repeated his denial that he called the police "plebs" outside Downing Street – despite the Sun claiming an official police report proves he did so.
The chief whip apologised for the first time in public over his outburst on Wednesday night outside Downing Street, in which he swore at a police officer who refused to let him in.
Although he accepts he lost his temper, Mitchell – known as 'Thrasher' from his school days – insists he did not use the phrases the Sun quoted him as saying – including that he called the police "morons" and "f****** plebs".
"It had been the end of a long and extremely frustrating day, not that that is any excuse at all for what happened," he told journalists outside the Cabinet Office this morning.
"I didn't show the police the amount of respect I should have done. We should all respect the police. They do an incredibly difficult job. I've apologised to the police, I've apologised to the police officer involved on the gate and he's accepted my apology. I hope very much we can draw a line under it there."
The Metropolitan Police Federation's chairman John Tully has called for Mitchell's resignation, however. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has written to Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding to know what was really said.
Mitchell may have been hoist by his own petard. The police officer was reportedly happy to let the matter lie but felt it necessary to file a report on what was said after the chief whip said he had "not heard the last of this".
"Perhaps with the full verbatim report in the public domain, people can make up their own minds," a police source told the tabloid.
The Met and Mitchell, who works in No 9 when parliament is not sitting, are now at odds. When asked whether he used the word 'pleb', all Mitchell would say is: "I'm very clear about what I said and what I didn't say, and I want to make it absolutely clear I do not use the words that have been attributed to me."
Observers have noted that is not absolutely clear.
- Poor Children Are Being 'Failed By Schools'Sky News - 13 minutes ago
- Chancellor Unveils Plan For State-Owned BanksSky News - 17 minutes ago
- Mentally Ill Locked Up In Police CustodySky News - 21 minutes ago
- Federal Reserve Hints At Slowing Bond PurchasesSky News - 36 minutes ago
- NHS 'Cover-Up' Staff Could Be NamedSky News - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
By Alex Stevenson
Best of Yahoo! News
- Officer arrested in Plebgate probe
- 'Plebgate' Probe: Cop Among Two Arrested
- Police officer jailed over payments
- Mosque Stabbings: Police And Locals 'Her …
- Stabbed officer made mosque arrest
- Danger dog alert after sheep deaths
- Police broke law with 'kettle' surveilla …