The Straits Times
Published on Dec 23, 2012

Ousted British minister claims he was 'stitched up'


LONDON (AFP) - The British Cabinet minister forced to quit over claims he called Downing Street police officers "plebs" claimed on Sunday he had been "stitched up" in his first full account of the furore.

Mr Andrew Mitchell said abusive phrases attributed to him were "hung round my neck in a concerted effort to toxify the Conservative Party and destroy my political career".

Mr Mitchell who resigned in October as the government chief whip - charged with enforcing discipline among Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives - said he was hit with a "tsunami of vitriol" following the incident.

Mr Mitchell laid bare his account of the Sept 19 dispute and its aftermath in The Sunday Times newspaper, as he intensified efforts to clear his name and pave the way for a return to government.