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David Cameron defended his Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in the House of Commons, responding to a question from Ed Miliband he said:
"The leader of the opposition wants to discuss this issue because he does not want to talk about the real issues"
An influential backbench committee of Tory MPs will meet today to discuss the future of Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell after his alleged comments to a police officer.
The 1922 Committee will give their views on the Chief Whip to Prime Minister David Cameron following the meeting.
Nick Clegg has become the latest Cabinet minister forced to defend Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell over his outburst at Downing Street police.
Mr Mitchell has denied calling police officers "plebs" after they refused to let him cycle through the main gates at Downing Street on September 19th.
The senior Tory has conceded that he swore and did not show enough respect, and has apologised to the police officer involved, who accepted his apology.
Mr Clegg said:
The Deputy Prime Minister, who joked that "I know a thing or two about apologies, musical or otherwise", added: "I hope we can move on from there."
Andrew Mitchell has won support from the former Labour minister Chris Mullin, who's urged David Cameron to stick by his Chief Whip.
Mr Mullin accused the Police Federation of trying to "bully" Mr Mitchell out of office and described them as a bunch of “head bangers”.
Writing in The Times, he said: “They need to be taken on, not appeased" and added that there is an irony in the West Midlands Police
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today spoke out to defend Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell, who is under increasing pressure to resign following allegations he called police officers "plebs" during a confrontation at the Downing Street gates.
Labour has renewed demands on Prime Minister David Cameron to sack Mr Mitchell, but speaking today Mr Grayling described the incident as "very unfortunate", but he argued it was "a mistake for the Police Federation to be trying to use this in the way that they are".
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has said the row over fellow Conservative Andrew Mitchell's outburst had been "hijacked".
Mr Hammond told the BBC the Police Federation was using the situation as an excuse to bring up its own issues and grievances.
For more on this story see the ITV News National site.
Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell leaves his Sutton Coldfields office after his meeting with the Police Federation.
Our reporter Keith Wilkinson managed to doorstep under-fire Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell before he met members of the Police Federation.