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Friday 21st September 2012 | 11:47
I have an update on Andrew Mitchell's foul-mouthed tirade at a humble copper on the gates of No.10 (read the Sun's cracking exclusive here).
In a bit of role reversal for a man whose job is to reprimand others, it looks like the Chief Whip could be hauled back from his constituency to make his face-to-face apology to the officer involved.
But there is an extra, happier detail for the police officer. I'm told he is not on shift but has been told he has to come in to Number 10 to meet Mitchell for the apology.
As a result, he has been assured that he will be paid overtime. So he will be paid to watch Thrasher eat up his ministerial humble pie. Nice.
The Sun is standing firmly by its report of the 'f*cking plebs' quote and no wonder. Like all good coppers involved in fracas with those in high places, a full note of the incident and alleged quotes will probably have been made and passed on to superiors.
On a more serious note, as I pointed out in my WaughRoomMemo, today is not the day for any minister to be associated with attacks on the police. Dale Cregan appears in court charged with the murder of Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.
David Cameron would certainly prefer to be focusing on the plight of the murdered policewomen in Manchester.
But the real problem is not just the spectacle of a millionaire minister treating the oiks with contempt. It is a wider problem that the police rank and file are feeling truly unloved.
As Mrs T knew, it's always best to have the cops on board during hard times...
UPDATE: I'm told that Mitchell has now phoned the officer concerned to make a profuse apology for his conduct.
A source says: "Andrew apologised. It was a friendly conversation and that was the end of the matter. It was the verbal equivalent of a handshake. Andrew is in and out of Downing Street regularly so I wouldn't be surprised if they shake hands when they next meet."
There will be no face to face meeting today, however, after No.10 realised it would be a media scrum to make The Thick of It look tame.
"He's a long, long way from London and hasn't any plans to come back til Monday."
Looks like that overtime offer is off though. The Chancellor will be happy.
FURTHER UPDATE: I'm told that under Labour, the Downing Street cops were always invited to the staff summer and Christmas parties - as they were seen as 'part of the team' - but that stopped suddenly in 2010 once the Coalition took power. Surely that can't be true....can it?
If it is indeed true, it doesn't look like too good a decision today.
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