By Peter Hoskin
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quick foray into this morning’s papers makes one thing clear: Andrew Mitchell
is under as much pressure as ever over his rant at a policeman on Downing
Street. In fact, he now faces questions — or outright opposition — from at
least five directions:
The media. The Daily Telegraph today joins the Sun in calling
for Mr Mitchell to resign.
The Cabinet. Ministers openly discussed Mr Mitchell’s future during the party
conference. Indeed, IDS joked about the prospect of him being sent to Rwanda,
as Fraser Nelson recounts this
The backbenches. What goes for Cabinet ministers goes doubly so for Tory backbenchers.
Many in Birmingham were questioning Mr Mitchell’s ability to perform his new
The Police Federation. They are demanding a full account of what Mr Mitchell
actually said to the police officer — otherwise, they’ll probably
demand his head.
The public. The majority
of who want Mr Mitchell to resign.
David Cameron cannot yet be added to the list above. The Times reports
(£) that the PM is minded to give his Chief Whip time, to “see if the furore will die down and whether Mr Mitchell can
command the respect of MPs.”
But, as that’s a pretty Big If, perhaps it’s worth noting the names
that are swirling around the Westminster washbowl as possible replacements for
Mr Mitchell: Francis Maude, Michael Fallon, Mark Harper and John Hayes.
For now, however, instead of one of those four, it's the five-pronged fork.