Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has finally resigned after the Plebgate or Gategate row in which he unwisely became embroiled in a public dispute with the Police and its trade union, or ‘Federation’. His resignation at 6.30pm on a Friday might have been cynically timed to catch most journalists in the pub (I know I was) but it also arrived on top of an embarrassing missing ticket adventure for the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a Virgin Train from Wilmslow to London Euston.
It all added up to an afternoon where government of the country felt entirely at the mercy of events. In the old phrase, in office but perhaps not really in power.
Updated: 27th November 2014. Andrew Mitchell has lost his libel trial carried against The Sun newspaper and the four police witnesses from the Downing Street security detail. The judge, Justice Mitford, decided on the balance of probablities that Mitchell had used the word (or something close to them). Costs of the trial are guesstimated at several million.
Fellow hack Rob Hutton described the misunderstanding at the heart of the #Plebgate hashtag nicely here.