Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell facing more calls to quit after police 'rant'

Chief Whip and Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell Photo:

Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell is facing more calls to quit today, after being accused of calling No 10 police officers "plebs".

The former shadow police minister is alleged to have shouted "learn your f****** place" when he was stopped from cycling out of Downing Street's main gates.

Although the MP, the government's chief whip, has apologised for not treating officers with due respect, he has denied using some of the language reported.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully told ITV News that Mr Mitchell was "lucky not to have been arrested".

Yesterday (21 September), David Cameron dodged questions about whether he planned to sack Mr Mitchell and condemned his behaviour as "wrong" and "inappropriate".

Mr Mitchell, who was also a minister under John Major in the early 1990s, apologised by telephone to a police officer.

Senior Tory backbencher David Ruffley defended his colleague.

"I have known Andrew Mitchell since he became shadow police minister, a post I subsequently held.

"So I can attest to the fact that he has the highest regard for the police service of this country.

"As a strong supporter of tough, traditional law and order policies, Andrew understands the central importance of police officers in fighting crime and keeping us safe.

"Nothing that may have occurred this week should affect his well-deserved reputation for being on the side of policemen and policewomen."

– David Ruffley MP