Chief whip sorry for police tirade

Blackpool Citizen: Andrew Mitchell has apologised after exchanging words with police on Downing Street Andrew Mitchell has apologised after exchanging words with police on Downing Street

Government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has apologised for reportedly launching a tirade at police officers on Downing Street.

The Cabinet member said he "did not treat the police with the respect they deserve", but denied using language quoted in The Sun.

According to the newspaper, the Conservative MP shouted abuse at officers because they would not let him cycle out of Downing Street on Wednesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron is aware of the outburst, "is glad that Mitchell has apologised" and said "police should always be treated with respect", according to a spokeswoman for No10.

The MP for Sutton Coldfield apologised in a statement, which read: "On Wednesday night I attempted to leave Downing Street via the main gate, something I have been allowed to do many times before.

"I was told that I was not allowed to leave that way. While I do not accept that I used any of the words that have been reported, I accept I did not treat the police with the respect they deserve. I have seen the supervising Sergeant and apologised, and will also apologise to the police officer involved."

Mr Mitchell was appointed to the role of chief whip in this month's Cabinet reshuffle, having previously served as International Development Secretary.

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