With what twitter has dubbed ‘gategate’ or ‘plebgate’* still rumbling on it’s noticeable that the Conservative candidate for the Thames Valley has failed to comment on Andrew Mitchell’s comments to police. Tim Starkey Labour’s candidate here has asked him to distance himself and condemn abusive behaviour towards the police. Regardless of your political views I would hope everyone would vote for a candidate who respects the police, after all they will be running the force!
Labour press release:
Tim Starkey, Labour’s candidate for Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, has called on the Tory candidate, Anthony Stansfeld, to condemn the abusive remarks Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell reportedly shouted at Downing Street police.
The Tory Chief Whip reportedly told police “Best you learn your f***ing place. You don’t run this f***ing government” and “you’re f***ing plebs” because they wouldn’t let him pedal his bike out of Downing Street.
Tim Starkey says: “It’s disgusting to think a Cabinet Minister could use this sort of language to police officers simply because they are doing their job.
“I hope my Conservative opponent will join me in publicly condemning Andrew Mitchell’s abuse toward police officers. If he does,not it is a clear signal to those across Thames Valley who are appalled by the Tory Chief Whip’s behaviour that, when it comes to policing, he is as out of touch as David Cameron’s government.
“Andrew Mitchell’s nasty, disrespectful behaviour reveals that when it comes to policing, David Cameron and this Tory-led Government don’t get it. Their 20% cuts to policing are leading to the loss of at least 15,000 police officers across the country. The people who brought us the millionaire tax cut while raiding pensioners’ pockets are just as out of touch when it comes to policing.”
Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, has said: “These are appalling reports. No one should treat police officers or public servants in this way. And the idea that a Cabinet Minister could behave like this towards police officers doing their job is an utter disgrace. It tells you all you need to know about this out of touch Government and its attitude to public servants.
“Downing Street clearly have a lot of questions to answer. They must make clear exactly what happened, including what was said and whether the deeply offensive language reported was used. How can a Chief Whip hope to do his job or instill respect when he behaves like this and can’t even keep his cool?”
*I assume ironically but it’s not funny. If there’s one thing I could ban it would be every political gaff/scandal/incident being referred to as a gate! Watergate was so called because that was the name of the hotel for goodness sake…