Top UK official quits over police row

2012-10-19 20:13

London - The British government's chief whip says he has resigned following a confrontation with police officers in which he was accused of a foul-mouthed tirade.

Andrew Mitchell, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron's cabinet, quit on Friday followings days of debate over his clash at the gates of Downing Street.

Mitchell was accused by police of confronting them angrily after they asked him to get off his bicycle to pass through gates.

Police insisted Mitchell had used the word "pleb" - a pejorative term for the working class, and a remark which was damaging for a government often characterized as lacking empathy with the poor.

Mitchell acknowledged Friday he had sworn at police, but insisted he had not used the world "pleb".

  • RudiErnst - 2012-10-20 00:02

    Can you imagine the chaos in South Africa if somebody dare use the word "pleb"... not really, hey...

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-20 01:28

      P'haps pleb there is the derogatory equivalent of the K-word here or the N-word in USA or any other derogatory term intended to set people apart purely on some misbegotten sense of superiority? The real difference is that a politician lost his job for losing his temper and denegrating a citizen in the process. Here politicians "lose" billions of Rand, their total impulse control and sometimes even their sanity. Yet they get to keep their jobs.

      Amused-Reader - 2012-10-20 05:59

      As a born and bred pommie I can assure you that 'pleb' would be on par with calling someone an idiot. Having to resign seems a little OTT but as you say LW, that's the difference between a country where politicians are held to account, as opposed one where if you belong to the ANC you can brazen out just about anything !!

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