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British official quits over clash with police

Published October 19, 2012 12:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 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."