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The Guardian is reporting that Andrew Mitchell was forced to resign in a revolt by young MPs lead by Tory grandee Lord Tebbit.
The revelation comes as Lord Tebbit writes in tomorrow's Observer criticising the coalition for a lack of competence:
"This dog of a coalition government has let itself be given a bad name and now anybody can beat it. It has let itself be called a government of unfeeling toffs.
"Past governments have had far more real Tory toffs: prime ministers Alec Douglas-Home and Harold Macmillan, or even in Thatcher's day, Whitelaw, Soames, Hailsham, Carrington, Gowrie, Joseph, Avon, Trenchard and plenty more, without incurring similar abuse."
"The abiding sin of the government is not that some ministers are rich, but that it seems unable to manage its affairs competently."
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, said Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell resigned due to "a moment of exasperation" in his row with a police officer.
David Cameron has replaced one keen cyclist with another by appointing George Young as Andrew Mitchell's replacement as Tory Chief Whip:
- Sir George Samuel Knatchbull Young, 6th Baronet, to use his full title, first became an MP in 1974.
- Thought to have retired to the backbenches after being reshuffled out of Cabinet in September.
- Gave up his position as Leader of the House to make way for former health secretary Andrew Lansley.
- A keen cyclist since being banned for drinking driving in 1987.
- Founded the parliamentary bicycle pool and has earned the moniker the "bicycling baronet".
- Opposition whip under Margaret Thatcher before she entered Downing Street.
- Held a variety of ministerial posts in the 1980s and 1990s, ending up as transport secretary in 1995.
Sir George Young has been appointed the Government's Chief Whip following Andrew Mitchell's resignation, Downing Street has said.
The Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries has warned that Sir George Young is too loyal to David Cameron and the party to carry out his job of listening to the concerns of backbenchers effectively.
The Conservative MP Michael Fabricant, a party vice chairman and former deputy whip, has welcomed Sir George Young's appointment as Chief Whip:
The Spectator's Political Editor James Forsyth is reporting that Sir George Young is the new Chief Whip after Andrew Mitchell resigned:
Latest ITV News reports
David Cameron admits it 'became apparent' to the former Chief Whip that he could no longer do his job. So why was it not apparent to the PM?
Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has resigned after swearing at police guarding Downing Street.