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Friday 12th October 2012 | 10:23
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said:
"David Cameron needs to sort this out now - it's a question of leadership. The Prime Minister is the only person still backing Andrew Mitchell as chief whip.
“This problem is just not going to go away because Andrew Mitchell still hasn't come clean about what he did say and the Prime Minister has tried to cover it up.
“We called repeatedly for the Prime Minister to hold a full investigation and for the Chief Whip to tell the full story about what happened. We warned of the impact on public and police confidence if they did not, especially at a time when the Government are cutting the police by 15,000 officers. However they have repeatedly refused.
“It is completely untenable for the Prime Minister to be unable to mention the police or even to thank them for Olympic security in his annual conference speech because of plebgate. And it showed the Prime Minister has not done enough to tackle concern about Government contempt for public servants that the Chief Whip had to stay away from his own party conference.
“This has gone on long enough. Neither the Prime Minister nor the Chief Whip have proved capable of coming clean swiftly and putting this right. And it is now clear no one even in the Conservative Party has confidence in Andrew Mitchell either. The failure by David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell to take this incident seriously enough and to sort it out straight away means Andrew Mitchell will clearly not be able to instil respect in Parliament or beyond as Chief Whip, and this will just drag on and on. David Cameron needs to put an end to this now and remove Andrew Mitchell from his position as Chief Whip."