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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

New Mitch Hitch?

It's Back to School for the Commons and Labour has a stunt in store for Andrew Mitchell, I hear.

The party will today or tomorrow table a motion calling for the Chief Whip's salary to be docked by £1,000 - roughly equivalent to the amount he would be fined in a magistrates court for swearing at a police officer.

Under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, Magistrates guidelines suggest that anyone convicted of the offence faces a fine equivalent to 50-125% of their weekly income.

Mitchell's salary as Chief Whip is over £79,000 and his weekly income from it is around £1,533, Labour estimates.

A Labour source says: "If David Cameron is not going to act on Andrew Mitchell's mess, then Parliament should."

If there is a vote (and that may be an academic question), it would be fascinating to see just how many grumbling Tory backbenchers abstain...

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