Another day, another set of PR disasters for the Tories, continuing to highlight their detachment from the public, with reports of an assault by Brian Coleman and a ‘do you know who I am?’-esque rant from Andrew Mitchell at police in Downing Street.
Mitchell, the Conservative Party Chief Whip, reportedly launched into an obscene tirade aimed at the armed guards at the gates of Downing Street. The reason for his outrage? Being asked to get off his bike while going through the gates of Downing Street.
It was this request which prompted Mitchell to call them “morons”, raging:
“Best you learn your your f***ing place. You’re f***ing plebs.”
Mitchell has admitted he “flew of the handle bars”, with the prime minister said to have given Mitchell a telling off.
The Chief Whip offered another apology today, saying:
“I accept I did not treat with the respect they deserve.”
Coleman, meanwhile, ex-London Assembly Member and the former chair of the London Fire Authority who is one the highest paid councillors in the country, has reportedly been involved in an assault. The incident reportedly took place outside a cafe in North Finchley because someone took of picture of his car, parked illegally.
As Left Foot Forward has previously reported, Coleman is no stranger to controversy, with a 2009 Standard investigation putting his total annual cost to the public purse at £104,503.50. He claimed £2,275 travel expenses for eight months in his role as chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and also ran up a taxi bill of £8,231 in his position as Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden - including a £656 bill on one day.
Today’s events are the last thing David Cameron needed – with Mitchell’s rant in particular likely to reaffirm voters’ perceptions of the Tories as out of touch and arrogant.