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Mitchell gets full backing from Sutton Tories for doing ‘fantastic job’

Mitchell gets full backing from Sutton Tories for doing ‘fantastic job’

🕔28.Nov 2014

Andrew Mitchell will not quit as Tory MP for Sutton Coldfield after losing the ‘Plebagate’ libel trial and has been given the full backing of his local Conservative Association.

In a strongly worded statement, Association chairman Ewan Mackey told Chamberlain Files Mr Mitchell was a “top class MP” doing a fantastic job for his constituency and there was no intention to ask him to stand down.

It was “business as usual” and Mr Mitchell would stand for re-election at the General Election next year in one of the country’s safest Conservative seats.

Mr Mackey said: “I have spoken briefly to Andrew and the situation is he has no intention to resign and he will carry on doing the job he loves, standing up for the people of Sutton Coldfield.

“He has no intention of going anywhere and we as an Association have no intention of telling him to go. He is a top class MP who does a fantastic job for Sutton and we are lucky to have him.

“As an Association we are one hundred per cent behind Andrew because we know how effective he is and how hard he works for us.”

Mr Mackey said it would have been “completely out of character” for Mr Mitchell to have called police officers plebs. “This is not the man we know,” he added.

Mr Mitchell is facing financial ruin after a high court judge rejected his libel claim against the Sun newspaper, which reported that the MP branded police officers who refused to allow him to cycle through the main Downing Street gates “f*****g plebs”.

The total cost of the trial plus a separate action brought against Mr Mitchell by Pc Toby Rowland is thought to amount to £3 million.

The chances of a return to Government for the former chief whip and international development secretary now appear remote, although Mr Mitchell could continue to enjoy a long career on the backbenches for as long as he can keep the support of his local association.

The judge at the Plebgate trial, Mr Justice Mitting, found that on the balance of probabilities Mr Mitchell used “politically toxic” language in a “childish” outburst and said the MP had been so angry that he was not in any state at the time to remember what he had said.

The Sun based its report on the account given in his log by Pc Toby Rowland, who was guarding the Downing Street entrance.

Mr Justice Mitting said: “For the reasons given I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word pleb.”

The judge said that Pc Rowland was “not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper”.

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