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  1. National

Mitchell admits to 'bad language', but denies 'pleb' insult

Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has admitted to occasionally using “bad language” in conversation, but denied having used the word “pleb”.

The MP told the High Court today he could be “impatient” when he felt he was being hampered from going about his business.

I even admit that I can be - or at least that I can appear to be - rude on these occasions.

To the best of my recollection, I have never called anybody a 'pleb', however, let alone a policeman.

Since the incident I have thought long and hard about this and cannot recall a single instance when I have called anybody a 'pleb'. It just isn't a word I use.

– Andrew Mitchell MP
  1. National

The Sun claims 'plebgate' story was 'substantially true'

The legal team arguing on behalf of The Sun newspaper has claimed an article published accusing former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell of a foul-mouthed rant at the gates of Downing Street was 'substantially true'.

News Group Newspapers (NGN) is relying on an account given by PC Toby Rowland, who said that Mr Mitchell had demanded and been denied the right to leave via the main gates.

Andrew Mitchell arriving for a Cabinet meeting at No 10 Downing Street on his bicycle Credit: PA

He then lost his temper, PC Rowland claims, saying: "Best you learn your f**king place - you don't run this f**king government - you're f**king plebs."

The Sutton Coldfield MP stood down as whip a month after the reports. He denies “demanding” to use the gates or using those words – though admits muttering under his breath: “I thought you guys were supposed to f**king help us". He has apologised for swearing.


  1. National

Court told police 'lies' ruined 'outstanding' minister's career

The barrister representing former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has told the High Court that police officers' "lies" destroyed the "outstanding" minister's 27-year political career.

ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener is at the hearing:

  1. National

Plebgate police's 'web of lies' outlined at High Court

Police officers were today accused of spinning a “web of lies, deceit and indiscipline” which led to the resignation of former government minister Andrew Mitchell over the so-called ‘plebgate’ scandal.

Representing Mr Mitchell at the High Court, James Price QC today opened the Sutton Coldfield MP’s libel action against News Group Newspapers (NGN) over the story.

Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell is suing News Group Newspapers over the story Credit: PA

The court heard Mr Mitchell, the former chief whip, and his family were subjected to an “unpleasant and vitriolic” press campaign as a result of the allegations, which were leaked to The Sun by officers in September 2012.

Mr Mitchell claims the piece portrayed him as guilt of launching a grossly offensive and arrogant attack at Downing Street police officers two days earlier, branding them "f**king plebs" and"morons".

Read: Plebgate officer sacked over press leaks


  1. National

Miliband attacks Sports Direct over zero-hours contracts

Ed Miliband will single out high-street chain Sports Direct for criticism over its use of zero-hours contracts in a speech today.

Sports Direct has said it will change its working practices. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Labour leader will accuse a number of firms of using "Victorian practices" in using such terms, which see employees given no guaranteed hours and those at the top can escape taxation.

Speaking in Coventry, Miliband will describe Sports Direct as an example of a firm where the "vast majority" of employees are on zero-hours - calling it a "bad place to work" for many staff.

The retail giant agreed last month to make "major changes" for staff after legal action brought by a former employee.

Sports Direct did not comment on Mr Miliband's attack, but repeated an earlier statement on its plans to make changes.

A spokesman said: "The company will continue the process of reviewing, updating and improving our core employment documents and procedures across our entire business beyond its existing compliant framework."

Mayor of London visiting Northampton University

The Mayor of London will be swapping the capital for Northamptonshire today.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson taking part in a boxing session earlier this week Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Boris Johnson is visiting Northampton University to see how undergraduates are learning about the town's shoe industry.

He is also going to Corby with Northampton North MP Michael Ellis to discuss transport issues.

Next year will see 'deepest cuts' to Walsall budget

The leader of Walsall Council has warned that next year's budget cuts of £29.2 million will be the harshest over the coming few years.

A further £57m will then have to be slashed from future budgets as part of a four-year savings plan ending in 2019.

Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan has warned next year will see the 'deepest' cuts Credit: Walsall Labour party

Council leader, Councillor Sean Coughlan, said:

As I've said before, next year will see the deepest of cuts over our four year budget plan.

Faced with £47 million funding reductions from central government and the limitation on council tax increases, our hands are tied and it hasn't been easy.

But our priority has been to protect the most vulnerable people and to do what we can to continue making Walsall a good place to live.

– Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council leader
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