Andrew Mitchell resignation: PM will pay for loyalty

Day after day Andrew Mitchell refused to bow to calls on him to go. Day after day David Cameron backed him.

Day after day the story simply didn't die, until yesterday when the former soldier appointed to instil some discipline into Tory ranks lost the will to fight.

He was brought down by the determination of the Labour Party to present Andrew Mitchell as a symbol of what they claim is wrong with this government, namely that it believes in one rule for themselves and another for everyone else.

And by the Police Federation who used him in their battle against cuts to police numbers, pensions and perks. But ultimately Andrew Mitchell was brought down by himself.

The arrogance and the abrasiveness which made David Cameron choose him as Chief Whip meant that he had far too few friends when things went wrong. Few ministers, few backbenchers rushed to his defence and instead many muttered that he really ought to quit.

David Cameron's friends say the Prime Minister believes in loyalty and giving people a second chance. But not for the first time he's going to pay a significant political price for that.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Constitutional change: The debate starts here

Constitutional change used to be a marginal pastime but in the aftermath of Scotland's decision it is all important.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective


  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gun battles manage to flee  from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, 21 September 2013Westgate's questions

    One year on, Kenyans await answers about the mall attack


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.