11:57 22 September 2012
Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has made an official apology to police after he admitted making disrespectful remarks to an officer who made him get off his bicycle as he left Downing Street.
The Sun newspaper had reported that Mitchell shouted that the officers in question were "f***ing plebs" - a claim which the Conservative MP denied.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed to the BBC that they had not filed a complaint against Mitchell who was turned away from the main Downey Street gate by officers, forcing him to use a smaller pedestrian gate instead.
He was reported to have them shouted swear words at the officer on duty at the gate and demanded that he "learn your place" and "you don't run this government". The officer reported the verbal abuse to his superiors.
The MP for Sutton Coldfield said in a statement: "On Wednesday night I attempted to leave Downing Street via the main gate, something I have been allowed to do many times before. I was told that I was not allowed to leave that way.
"While I do not accept that I used any of the words that have been reported, I accept I did not treat the police with the respect they deserve.
"I have seen the supervising sergeant and apologised, and will also apologise to the police officer involved."
The Prime Minister is also "glad" that Mitchell has expressed his sorrow over the incident.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The prime minister is aware there was an incident. He is glad that Andrew Mitchell has apologised.
"He thinks the police should always be treated with the respect they deserve."
Prior to David Cameron's massive cabinet reshuffle last month, Mitchell (a former soldier) was the international development secretary. He is now in charge of maintaining party discipline and, according to the BBC, keeping rebel backbenchers in line with the party.
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