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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.
I am told the five Conservative MPs who spoke out against Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell were James Duddridge, Anne Main, Sarah Wollaston, Andrew Percy and Phillip Davies.
Political correspondents outside the meeting of Conservative backbencher MPs are reporting the majority of them backed under-fire Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell:
Despite calls from the Prime Minister to "move on" from the Chief Whip's incident with the police, media interest in Andrew Mitchell continues as photographers waited for his arrival at the Cabinet Office today.
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:
Ed Miliband has said that anyone who swears at the police should be arrested, as Andrew Mitchell appeared to deny that he had swore at police officers at the Downing Street gate.
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.
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.
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 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"
Latest ITV News reports
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Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has resigned after swearing at police guarding Downing Street.