Foot-and-mouth victim Andrew Mitchell has roundly denied calling police officers "plebs" during a furious altercation in Downing Street.
Tory Chief Whip insisted today that he did not use the politically explosive jibe, despite reports that police logbooks showed he did call officers "plebs" and swore at them repeatedly.
Appearing in front of the cameras for the first time since news of his outburst broke last week, Mr Mitchell reiterated his apology to the police and appealed for a line to be drawn under the matter.
However, a senior Police Federation representative accused him of impugning the integrity of the officers involved and called on Prime Minister David Cameron to mount a full inquiry into what happened.
Arriving for work in Whitehall, Mr Mitchell acknowledged that he had not shown the police "the amount of respect I should have done" during the confrontation on Wednesday evening.
But pressed by reporters on whether he called the officers "plebs", he said: "I want to make it absolutely clear that I did not use the words that have been attributed to me."
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg piled on the pressure, calling on him explain "fully and in detail" what happened during the altercation after officers refused to allow him to cycle through the main gates of Downing Street.
The Sun, which broke the original story, reported today that it had now seen a police report of the incident, prepared for senior officers, which showed that he did call the officers "plebs" as well as swearing repeatedly.
The report was said to be backed up by at least two officers making the same verbatim note of the exchange in their pocket books
Mr Mitchell, who turned up outside the Cabinet Office in a VW Polo, accepted that he should not have spoken to the officers in the way that he did, but said that should be the end of the matter.
"It had been the end of a long and extremely frustrating day - not that that is any excuse at all for what happened," he said.
"I didn't show the police the amount of respect I should have done. We should all respect the police, they do an incredibly difficult job.
"I have apologised to the police, I have apologised to the police officer involved on the gate and he's accepted my apology and I hope very much that we can draw a line under it there."
However, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, John Tully, said Mr Mitchell was effectively accusing the officers of lying and called on Mr Cameron to hold an investigation.
"Clearly Mr Mitchell is denying using certain words, effectively now impugning the integrity of the police officers," he told Sky News.
"I think that is very serious. I think the Prime Minister or Downing Street officials should hold an inquiry and if Mr Mitchell is proved to have lied, then he should be sacked."
Mr Clegg, attending the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, said it was important that Mr Mitchell had shown contrition but refused to say whether he accepted that was the end of it.
"He challenges the way some of the words have been attributed to him," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"I am not going to give a running textual analysis but I think the fact that Andrew Mitchell has been as clear as he has, that he is contrite about this, that he knows what he did was wrong, that he has apologised and the police officer in return has accepted the apology is important."
Asked if it was time to "move on", he said: "I cannot give a running commentary on what was and was not said in an incident where I was not there."
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood asking for Mr Mitchell and the officers involved to be interviewed, statements to be reviewed and an examination of CCTV footage.
A swift investigation would allow Mr Cameron to "decide on the Chief Whip's continued position" based on the facts, she said.