The canonisation of Andrew Mitchell (forever of Plebgate fame) continues apace. In the eyes of ConHome and Teresa May, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, he has already achieved beatification.
For those who need to get up to speed on “Plebgate”, wikipedia has a useful summary.
Here are just a few accepted “factoids” (as Malcolm understands them):
- Mitchell’s nickname, acquired as a prefect at Rugby because of his use of the cane on weaker, junior students, was and is “Thrasher”. This is hardly an affectionate term; and Mitchell is (reputedly) not surrounded in Westminster by hordes of adoring admirers.
- Mitchell is known for his foul language. A piece by Rob Wilson (Tory MP) for TotalPolitics includes:
His close relationship with [David] Davis didn’t stop Mitchell turning the air blue with expletives in a tense encounter on the House of Commons terrace, when Davis’ resignation caused a by-election. All Mitchell will say is that “the language exchanged would not be suitable for a family show. David knows I think it was a tremendous error of judgement.”
- Mitchell admits he swore when he was required to use the side-gate of Downing Street. Mitchell has apologised to the officer, which seems further confirmation of this member of the constabulary’s integrity.
- The police officer, who was on the receiving end of the oath and the (alleged) “plebs” comment, is not one of those arrested or charged.
And one speculation:
There is an unexplained grey area around John Randall, the MP for Uxbridge:
- He was Mitchell’s deputy in the Whips Office at the time of Plebgate.
- It was Randall who received the email which “confirmed” Mitchell’s intemperance, even before the whole mess went public.
- Relations between Mitchell and Randall seem to have been strained, to say the least. Randall, we are told, was himself intent on resignation, if Mitchell did not quit or was not pushed from the Chief Whip position.
- Randall has now left the Whips’ Office in Cameron’s latest reshuffle.
- Randall has a record of honourable behaviour and resignation. He was one of the few Tories who opposed Blair’s 2003 rush to war in Iraq (Mitchell was all Jingoist).
It is to be hoped, should Mitchell’s canonising process continue, Randall breaks silence to act as advocatus diaboli.