Boris Johnson fuelled the row about Andrew Mitchell's Downing Street tirade yesterday by suggesting the policeman concerned might have been sensible to arrest the chief whip.
In a mischievous intervention, the London Mayor said the idea that Mr Mitchell could have been detained for his outburst was “wholly commonsensical”.
It also emerged last night that David Cameron decided to back Mr Mitchell after his chief whip looked him “in the eye” and denied he had called Downing Street policemen “plebs”.
And the political row caused by the altercation showed no sign of dying down with reports that Mr Mitchell requested to be let through the main Downing Street gates again — just 12 hours after the original confrontation.
Mr Johnson's comments came as Labour accused the Prime Minister of presiding over a “cover-up” for failing to order an official inquiry into what happened.
Mr Johnson said he accepted Mr Mitchell's apology but added that the incident “underscored” how wrong it was for anyone to abuse a police officer.