Farron slams 'appalling' Mitchell
Lib Dem president Tim Farron has labelled Andrew Mitchell's behaviour "beyond unacceptable", as the row over the Chief Whip's outburst at police officers continues.
Mr Mitchell has faced calls from police union leaders to resign, after reports in yesterday's Sun alleged he called an officer in Downing Street a "moron" and a "pleb".
Speaking to BBC News this morning, Mr Farron said if reports of Mr Mitchell's comments were accurate, he should be disciplined by his leader.
"All of us can have grouchy moments and say things we regret, but it kind of reveals – what he’s reported to have said - reveals something not terribly pleasant," he said.
"It is David Cameron’s job to discipline his minister, in the same way that if it was a Liberal Democrat chief whip - who I’m sure would never do a thing like this - it would be Nick Clegg’s job to do that."
A police union leader last night claimed the row emphasised the "inbuilt dislike" towards the police within this government, as he hit out over the Coalition's "vitriolic attack" on officers' pay and conditions.
Speaking on Newsnight, Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully also rejected the Prime Minister's tribute to the two officers killed in Manchester this week as "hollow words", and said many in the force were "not convinced" by his remarks.
Shadow Policing Minister David Hanson this morning urged the Prime Minister to "get to the bottom of what happened" in Downing Street, but insisted he was not yet calling for Mr Mitchell to resign.
"That needs to be cleared up, the truth needs to be got at, and then David Cameron needs to make a judgement on Mr Mitchell’s behaviour," he told BBC News.
Former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke defended the Chief Whip, saying Mr Mitchell was "a perfectly reasonable man who had a flare of bad temper".