Gove: I wanted Mitchell to stay
Michael Gove has revealed that neither he nor David Cameron wanted Andrew Mitchell to resign, although Theresa May would not deny that she pushed for his exit.
The Home Secretary said this morning she would not "comment on private conversations" but did not deny wanting Mr Mitchell to go.
"I’m not going to talk about private conversations, Andrew has now resigned I think that’s an end of the issue," she told BBC 1's Sunday Politics programme.
Earlier the Education Secretary had expressed his regret that a "very human moment of exasperation" had ended the career of someone he considered "a decent guy".
He also stressed that Mr Mitchell had "wanted to put the interests of the party collectively ahead of his own".
"David Cameron wanted to keep Andrew, I wanted Andrew to stay, because I don’t believe and the Prime Minister doesn’t believe that 30 years of public service should be effaced by seven seconds of unacceptable but very human exasperation," he told Sky News' Murnaghan programme.
Reports in today's papers suggest that it was not the leadership, but a revolt from the 2010 intake of Tory MPs that forced Mr Mitchell's resignation.
The Sun on Sunday says the Chief Whip was openly ignored by some groups of MPs, while others told him his position was no longer tenable.
According to a source close to Mr Mitchell, he realised there were "too many" MPs not supporting him "particularly among the 2010 intake".
Meanwhile, former Tory chairman Norman Tebbit has also launched a stinging attack on David Cameron's management of his "dog of a coalition government".
Writing in the Observer, the peer urges Mr Cameron to "impose some discipline" on his government, which he said appears "unable to manage its affairs competently".