Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's outburst at Downing Street police officers has been "very damaging" for the party, a senior minister said today.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Mr Mitchell's conduct had been "inexcusable" and the party needed to be able to draw a line under the matter.
"Every time any individual slips up, steps out of line, does something they shouldn't have done, commits an indiscretion, and they are a member of a party or an organisation, of course that is bound to reflect on that organisation," he told the BBC1 Sunday Politics programme.
"We have to accept that, it is very unfortunate. Nobody is defending Andrew Mitchell's conduct but a line now has to be drawn under it. This has been a very damaging affair."