Cameron faces confidence crisis

David Cameron is facing a crisis of confidence from his own MPs over the Andrew Mitchell affair, and is under pressure to sack members of his inner circle according to reports in the Sunday Times.

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Tory MPs: 'Spectacular own goal' if Chief Whip quits

Tory grandees Sir Peter Tapsell and Bernard Jenkin were among the 12 Conservative MPs who spoke out in support of Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in the meeting of backbenchers this evening.

Some of those did say they had concerns but took the view that it would be "a spectacular own goal" if Mr Mitchell was forced to go now.

Senior sources acknowledged that it had been damaging for him.

The discussion about Mr Mitchell lasted around half an hour.

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Reports: Majority of Tory MPs back Chief Whip

Political correspondents outside the meeting of Conservative backbencher MPs are reporting the majority of them backed under-fire Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell:

Police Federation chief: Mitchell told me he did swear

The secretary of Warwickshire Police Federation has said he is "confused" by the Chief Whip's claim in the Commons that he did not swear at a Downing Street police officer:

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Mitchell's denial 're-ignites' row

Tory Party Vice Chairman Michael Fabricant said Andrew Mitchell has "re-ignited" the row over whether he swore at police by apparently denying it in the House of Commons today.

Mitchell 'denies swearing at police'

Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in the House of Commons today. Credit: ITV News

Ed Miliband repeated his calls for Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell to clarify what he said to police officers during his altercation outside the gates of Downing Street a few weeks ago in the House of Commons today.

During the exchange between the Labour leader and the Prime Minister Mr Mitchell appeared to deny having sworn at police, shaking his head and apparently mouthing "I didn't, I didn't" as Mr Miliband said that people who swear at police should be arrested.

In response, the Labour leader said: "He says from a sedentary position he didn't. Maybe he will tell us what he actually did say."

A senior Labour source later said that Mr Mitchell's apparent denial made it all the more essential for it to be made clear exactly what he did say.

Prime Minister: Time to move on to 'the big issues'

The Prime Minister David Cameron said it was time to "move on" from the row over the actions of his Chief Whip. He said now that Andrew Mitchell has apologised to the officers involved, the apology had been accepted and it was now time to move on "to the big issues"

In a robust exchange across the House of Commons Labour Leader Ed Miliband reiterated his view that Mr Mitchell should lose his job:

"Just because the police officer has better manners than the Chief Whip, it doesn't mean he should keep his job"

David Cameron: What the Chief Whip did was wrong

David Cameron defended his Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in the House of Commons, responding to a question from Ed Miliband he said:

"What the chief whip did and said was wrong, that is why he apologised and apologised properly, the police officer accepted the apology, the head of the Metropolitan Police accepted the apology, and this government wants to move on to the real issues."

"The leader of the opposition wants to discuss this issue because he does not want to talk about the real issues"

David Cameron in the House of Commons. Credit: Press Association
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