Commons debate piles pressure on Mitchell

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Indy Politics

The relentless pressure on the government Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, is set to continue into next week, when his outburst against police officers at the gates of Downing Street is expected to be raised during a House of Commons debate.

Labour has tabled a Commons motion on police numbers and cuts for next Wednesday, which several MPs are likely to use as an excuse to further embarrass Mr Mitchell and to intensify demands that he resign.

The minister has been fighting to keep his job since he was accused of swearing at police officers and calling them "plebs" as he tried to cycle out of Downing Street on 19 September. He has apologised for his behaviour, but denies having used the word "plebs".

A Labour Party spokesman hinted last night that Mr Mitchell can expect a rough ride while the motion is discussed: "I would be very surprised if Andrew Mitchell's behaviour didn't come up during the debate on a number of occasions."

At Prime Minister's Questions this week, the chief whip was described as "toast" by the Labour leader, who claimed that even senior colleagues are briefing against him.

Mr Miliband told the Commons: "While it is a night in the cell for the yobs, it is a night at the Carlton Club for the Chief Whip. Isn't that the clearest case there could be of total double standards? His position is untenable. In other words, he is toast."