Boris Johnson has weighed in on the questions surrounding beleaguered chief whip Andrew Mitchell, with the Mayor of London saying he was pleased that the police were on the verge of arresting Mitchell for swearing at them at the gates to Downing Street.
Speaking at an event in London on Tuesday morning Johnson reportedly said he was "very glad to see the police proposed to arrest Andrew Mitchell." His comment was heard by a photographer with the Press Association.
The Mayor of London made the comment after a full log of the incident between the chief whip and the officers was published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday morning. The log shows that the officers were close to arresting Mitchell for a public order offence after his repeated swearing.
Boris Johnson has previously suggested that anyone swearing or verbally abusing a police officer should be arrested. He made the comment just under a year ago at the Tory Party Conference of 2011.
Their publication puts further pressure on Mitchell, who insists he did not call officers "plebs". The log - seemingly a written account of the event - suggests Mitchell did indeed use this word, which is politically toxic for privileged Tory ministers who attended elite private schools. Mitchell attended the prestigious Rugby school in Warwickshire.
The Conservative Party insists that Mitchell did not use the words "attributed to him" by the police. Mitchell has dodged a Whitehall inquiry after the government's top civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood insisted one was not required on Monday. But Mitchell still faces a possible Parliamentary Standards inquiry and will be under pressure to clarify whether or not "pleb" was one of the words he used.