Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour's Blows Yet to Topple the Chief Whip; Cooper Gets Her Brolly Inside-Out - but Mitchell Is in a Far Worse Tangle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour's Blows Yet to Topple the Chief Whip; Cooper Gets Her Brolly Inside-Out - but Mitchell Is in a Far Worse Tangle

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson Regional Affairs Correspondent ? 0191 201 6286 ? adrian.pearson@ncjmedia.co.uk

SHADOW Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has compared the Government's chief whip's behaviour to that seen in anti-social teenagers on Tyneside estates.

Ms Cooper repeated calls for an inquiry into Andrew Mitchell's police outburst on a visit to Newcastle to promote Labour police commissioner candidate Vera Baird.

Demands for a full Whitehall investigation into the row were rejected last night.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said he agreed with Prime Minister David Cameron that there would not be "any purpose" in a probe after Mr Mitchell apologised for the incident.

Mr Mitchell has been under pressure since claims emerged that he swore at police and called an officer a "pleb".

During a tour of the Blakelaw estate in Newcastle yesterday, Ms Cooper said families struggling with teenagers who failed to respect the police would find the comparison easy to make.

She said: "It is shocking. He has admitted he swore at officers, that is a change in what he said before, but he is still saying something very different to what the police say.

"We can't have a situation where the PM ignores the testimony of the police officers whose job it is to keep Downing Street safe.

"Did Andrew Mitchell call a serving police officer a pleb, because he has not answered that question? We heard today, we were actually told, that part of the problem here in Newcastle is that some of the kids do not have respect for the police and it makes it much worse if you have on the news senior members of the Government calling police officers names."

Ms Baird, seeking to be the first police commissioner in the Northumbria patch, said it showed the Government was out of touch. She said: "I don't think you would find Andrew Mitchell coming to see an estate like this. …

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