If the PM believes his Chief Whip, he can’t believe the PC

Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell Photo: PA

The Prime Minister's spokesman did his best. And he was forced to do it for some time.

But he could not answer the question that was put to him repeatedly this morning about the Andrew Mitchell rant in Downing Street (aka #gategate.)Number 10 says the Prime Minister accepts Andrew Mitchell)

In it, Mr Mitchell, the Government's Chief Whip, said: "I did not use the words that have been attributed to me."

He was referring to the use of the word "pleb." It's claimed that is what he called the policeman with whom he had an angry exchange last week.

So if the Prime Minister accepts that version of events, political journalists put it to the Prime Minister's spokesman that Mr Cameron must therefore reject the version offered by the police officer.

Both men cannot be telling the truth - and if the Prime Minister believes his Chief Whip, he can’t also believe the policeman.

That is the problem for Downing Street. Either a Cabinet Minister or a police officer is giving an inaccurate account.

And while that confusion remains, this story will continue to run.

Maybe Mr Mitchell should book another appointment with the cameras and have another go.