Why didn't PM know it was time for Andrew Mitchell to go?

Andrew Mitchell's reign as Chief Whip lasted a matter of weeks. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

DavidCameron has just said it was Andrew Mitchell's own decision to resign after it"became apparent to him" - Mitchell - that he could no longer do hisjob as Chief Whip.

Itraises the question, why was it not apparent to the Prime Minister that Mr Mitchell should stand down?

Italso means the controversy over the former Chief Whip's offensive behaviour topolice officers at the gates of Downing Street continues - even though he hasresigned.

MrCameron was giving a speech on law and order in which he referred to respectfor police officers who put their lives on the line every day.

When asked by ITV News why it took four weeks for Mr Mitchell to resign, Mr Cameron said, "There was a bigger question about whether he was going to be able to do his job. It became apparent to him, and I think increasingly apparent, that wasn't going to be possible. So he resigned."

It suggests the Prime Minister believes Mr Mitchell should still be in his job today if he was still able to carry out his duties as Chief Whip - a position which requires him to discipline MPs and command their respect.

But Mr Cameron insisted he wasn't going to fire a minister just to meet demands from the press. He said: "The time it takes might be uncomfortable and difficult for politicians and governments ... but in the end, government is about doing the right thing, making the right decision, not just making the easy decision."