Andrew Mitchell resigns as Chief Whip

The fallout from "Plebgate" claims Mitchell, four weeks on, as he admits telling Downing Street police "I thought you guys were supposed to f***ing help us".

The news has just broken that Andrew Mitchell has resigned as Chief Whip.

Number 10 announced on Twitter that David Cameron had accepted the resignation.

Below is Mitchell's resignation letter in which he admits that he swore at the police, but denies calling them "plebs".

In his response to Mitchell, David Cameron said:

Thank you for your letter. I was sorry to receive it, but I understand why you have reached the conclusion you have, and why you have decided to resign from the Government.

I regret that this has become necessary, and am very grateful for all you have done, both in Government and in Opposition – as well as for the kind words in your letter.

As we discussed in advance of the reshuffle, I wanted you to bring your organisational skill and energy to the important job of chief whip. It was clear to me that you had already made a strong start.

As you have acknowledged, the incident in Downing Street was no acceptable and you were right to apologise for it.

You have much to be proud of from your service on the frontbench both in opposition and in government, and in your continued service to your constituents in Sutton Coldfield. I hope that, in time, you will be able to make a further contribution to public life.

Andrew Mitchell. Photo: Getty
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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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