By Claire West
Andrew Mitchell is in deep trouble, whether he actually used the words that the Sun said to verbally attack a Downing Street policeman he admits himself that; “he did not treat the police with the respect they deserved.”
Will he fall on his sword and resign? Well the former army officer doesn’t seem to agree with resigning.
In 2008 when David Davis resigned on a matter of principle as a result of the Labour Government's proposal to extend detention without trial for terrorist suspects he allegedly told him; “You’re Nuts”.
If he doesn’t resign then the big question is should the Prime Minister sack him?
I think there are two sides to this coin. Firstly even politicians can lose their temper, in many ways we should want our politicians to be ‘honest’ and ‘human’ rather than media savvy automatons.
However if he did tell the serving policeman to "learn your place....You don't run this government" regardless of whether he also called him a ‘fucking pleb’ or not then Mr Cameron should probably fire him for ‘bringing his organisation into disrepute.’
Bringing an organisation into disrepute can be judged as ‘gross misconduct’ which is a serious wrongdoing that justifies immediate dismissal. Dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice — however Mr Cameron will need to make sure he follows the correct procedures which include; holding a disciplinary hearing, informing the employee of the outcome and providing a right of appeal.
All of this is probably too cumbersome for a Government in the 24/7 media spotlight so is unlikely to happen.
Therefore we are likely to see either a ‘resignation’ probably followed by the usual spell in the political wilderness or an attempt to brazen it out and grovel to the police.