X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

Mitchell row could make MPs think again before criticising a colleague in trouble

20 December 2012

9:10 AM

20 December 2012

9:10 AM

Tory MPs – and the occasional Lib Dem, too – were flocking around Andrew Mitchell in the Commons yesterday to show their support for the former chief whip. He is enjoying a new wave of support in his party, rather than languishing as persona non grata on the backbench.

But the picture is still not clear. Mitchell himself admitted that he swore during the exchange with the police: less politically toxic, perhaps, than ‘pleb’, but swearing at a police officer is still something that can land you with a fine in a Magistrates Court. And there are two other police officers who claim the chief whip said both words.

[Alt-Text]


Another person who has not emerged unscathed from this row is Sir Jeremy Heywood. He reviewed the CCTV footage himself, but seems not to have noticed that there were no witnesses. Mark Reckless rounded on Heywood yesterday, tweeting that the ‘Mitchell saga owes much to another monumentally useless performance by Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood. Time for the PM to take charge’.

The chief whip was not discussed in great detail at last night’s 1922 committee, beyond one MP saying the party needed to learn a lesson from what had happened. Remember that it was the 1922 meeting where a number of backbenchers expressed concerns about Mitchell that contributed to his decision to resign. Back then, senior MPs were furious with those from the new intake who ‘didn’t have a real perspective on what a proper problem for the party is’, as one long-serving MP told me at the time. The next time one of their number is under threat, Tory MPs may round on those who speak out against them more forcefully.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close