Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell has been threatened with arrest and apologised after an explicit rant at armed police officers who stopped him riding his bicycle out of Downing Street.
Andrew Mitchell is alleged to have confronted police officers in Downing Street
Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell is alleged to have told the officers they had “best learn your f—— place” before angrily accusing them of being “f——- plebs”.
He is said to have condemned the officers guarding Number 10 as “morons”, leaving bystanders “visibly shocked” by the tirade.
Last night, Mr Mitchell said he had already apologised to the officers involved and admitted he “did not treat the police with the respect they deserve”. However he denied using some of the words reported byÂ The Sun.
His outburst appears to have been prompted by the armed officers’ refusal to open the gates in Downing Street to let him cycle through.
A source told the newspaper Mr Mitchell said: â€œOpen this gate, Iâ€™m the Chief Whip. Iâ€™m telling you – Iâ€™m the Chief Whip and Iâ€™m coming through these gates.â€
The officers declined to do as instructed, and warned him he would be arrested under the Public Order Act if he persisted.
He then began pushing his bike, before telling a PC: â€œBest you learn your f—— place. You donâ€™t run this f——- government.
â€œYouâ€™re f——- plebs.â€
David Cameron is believed to have been made aware of the incident and “has made it clear he expects the police to be treated with respect at all times.â€
Last night, Mr Mitchell said in a statement: â€œI attempted to leave Downing Street via the main gate, something I have been allowed to do many times before.
â€œI was told that I was not allowed to leave that way. While I do not accept that I used the words that have been reported, I accept I did not treat the police with the respect they deserve.
â€œI have seen the supervising sergeant and apologised and will also apologise to the police officer involved.â€
Mr Mitchell was appointed to the role of chief whip in this month’s Cabinet reshuffle, having previously served as International Development Secretary.
He was nick-named ‘Thrasher’ while head of house at Rugby School for his robust approach to discipline. He has more recently been dubbed ‘Fifty Shades’ by backbenchers, after the erotic novel.
Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell ‘in foul-mouthed tirade at police’