MARK Lancaster was ‘not available’ for comment this week when asked to voice his opinion on the actions of his boss, Andrew Mitchell.
The Government’s Chief Whip, and MP for Sutton Coldfield, hit the headlines last week when he was accused of swearing at a police officer and calling him a ‘pleb’ after being forced to get off his bicycle and leave Downing Street via a side gate.
Mr Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, has spent much of his recent political career working alongside Mr Mitchell.
Between 2007 and 2010, Mr Lancaster was the Shadow Minister for International Development, while Mr Mitchell was Shadow Secretary.
After that, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Mr Mitchell, before the pair were promoted last month, this time with Mr Mitchell taking over as Chief Whip, and Mr Lancaster becoming Government Whip.
However, following Mr Mitchell’s recent spell in the spotlight for his indiscretions, Mr Lancaster’s office said the city MP was unavailable for comment.
Mr Mitchell has apologised to the police and to the officer concerned and still has the ‘full confidence’ of Prime Minister David Cameron following the incident last Wednesday.