David Cameron has condemned his chief whip over a reported foul-mouthed rant at Downing Street police officers.
Speaking on a visit to Greater Manchester Police headquarters on Friday in the wake of the murders of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, Mr Cameron said Andrew Mitchell's behaviour had been "wrong" and "inappropriate", but stressed he had apologised.
The comments came after police groups and Labour questioned whether Mr Mitchell could hang on to his job after details emerged of the confrontation, which happened a day after the two Manchester officers were killed.
According to The Sun, the MP reacted angrily after being told he was not allowed to cycle out of Downing Street.
He apparently branded the officers "plebs" for not letting him use the main gates.
Mr Mitchell, who became chief whip in the reshuffle earlier in September, has denied using some of the reported language but apologised for not treating the police with proper respect.
Asked if he would stand by Mr Mitchell or sack him, Mr Cameron said: "What Andrew Mitchell said and what he did was not appropriate. It was wrong and it is right that he has apologised.
"He has obviously apologised to me, but more importantly he has apologised thoroughly to the police and that needed to be done.
"Police do an outstanding job across our country.
They do a very important job protecting places like Number 10 Downing Street and I am very conscious of the protection they give to me and my family and the work they do for everyone in public life."