Portillo: 'I've heard Andrew Mitchell use word the pleb'

Andrew Mitchell has used the word "pleb" in private conversation, a former Cabinet minister said - but he did not believe it was something the former chief whip would have said in public.

Michael Portillo said he has heard Andrew Mitchell has used word 'pleb'. Credit: Zak Hussein/PA Wire

Michael Portillo suggested police officers might have picked the word as one that people would readily believe had been uttered by Mr Mitchell.

"I have heard him use that word in private conversation - the pleb word, I mean," Mr Portillo told BBC1's This Week.

"I didn't believe he could have used it at the gates."