Posts Tagged ‘#gategate’

Andrew Mitchell plots his revenge on the police federation

26/10/2012, 03:49:22 PM

At the start of last week, Uncut predicted Andrew Mitchell’s demise. On Monday 15th October we said he would be gone on Thursday. In the event it turned out his departure was announced on Friday, though he actually made his decision to quit on Thursday.

Now, Uncut hears he is plotting his revenge.

It has been widely reported that he quit after concluding that he had lost the confidence of the 2010 intake of Conservative MPs. True. But this is only half of the story.

Andrew Mitchell had also concluded that, given the state of the media firestorm, he could not mount the robust defence needed to clear his name, while still chief whip.

He remains convinced that he has been the victim of a political hit job by the police federation. Friends of Mitchell say that despite the battering he took at the hands of the media, he will not give up.

More than his notorious temper or a desire for revenge, his primary motivation is his career. Andrew Mitchell is not prepared to accept this as the end.

In 1997, he was a rising star, destined for the cabinet when he lost his formerly safe seat in Gedling. That could have been it. Many others accepted their fate. But not Mitchell, he came back from that disaster, returned to parliament and made it into cabinet.

The former chief whip accepts it will be difficult, but he sees a route back to centre stage and is more determined than ever to get his side of the story across.

Mitchell’s defence will rest on a stopwatch.


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Andrew Mitchell will go on Thursday

15/10/2012, 07:00:17 AM

That’s the consensus Uncut hears swirling around the ranks of senior Tories. Post-conference, the denouement of #gategate has acquired a new lethal inevitability. Hopes of a firebreak, with conference season giving space for the furore to subside, have been decisively dashed.

As members of parliament return to Westminster, Ministers and MPs who have fanned out over the weekend for media interviews are all reporting back the same message to the Tory whips: this problem is not going away.

These interviews were meant to have been an opportunity for the Tories to build on David Cameron’s speech and set the agenda before the start of the Autumn session. But, on every single occasion the questioning returned to Andrew Mitchell’s position.

It not only dragged the MPs back into territory that the Tories have been trying to escape, but also presents a uniquely difficult question to answer.

There’s no defending Mitchell’s conduct. His absence from Birmingham, despite being the Tories’ only Birmingham MP, was stark. The agreed line to take that he apologised and the police personnel involved have accepted the apology leaves too many unanswered questions:  what did he actually say? Why are the police federation calling for him to go? How long will this drag on?

The critical day is now Wednesday. PMQs will be dominated by Andrew Mitchell, who will then face the judgement of the Tories backbench 1922 committee later that day when it meets.


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