Gedling MP Andrew Mitchell was installed as the government's chief whip in the recent reshuffle. The 56-year-old Tory is noted for his ambition, and admits to having a "competitive streak" - though he insists he is not "ruthless". Mitchell was educated at the prestigious Rugby public school and Cambridge University, before joining the army and serving as a UN peacekeeper during the 1970s. He went on to forge a lucrative career in banking, but was always determined to enter politics.
While a child in Hampshire his father Sir David was elected as a Conservative MP and served as a minister under Margaret Thatcher.