Andrew Mitchell, the Tory former chief whip who famously told a police officer to “learn your fucking place, you fucking pleb”, may wish he hadn’t made enemies of the old bill. For who will defend him now his own constituency office has been taken over by activists fed up with austerity and the government’s contempt for ordinary people?
The offices were occupied by students and community activists living in Birmingham, where Mitchell is the only Tory MP. In a statement, they said: “Austerity clearly isn’t working. We have huge and painful cuts to health, education and welfare but the deficit is getting bigger not smaller. The Tories plan has clearly not worked and they need to change it or we need a new government.”
Roz Burgin, a first year Birmingham university student involved in the occupation said: “I’m paying £9000 tuition fee’s but this somehow is costing the government more money not less.
“The fees were supposed to give students more choice but at Birmingham University vital courses such as nursing and physiotherapy are facing cuts. A lot of my friends haven’t gone to university, because they can’t afford it.
“I know Andrew Mitchell probably thinks they are plebs, but surely who gets to university should not be based on your parents bank balance?”
Daniel Lemberger Cooper, a representative of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, added: “I don’t think we can stand by and let people like Andrew Mitchell and the rest of the government have such outright contempt for the rest of us.”
The occupation comes just days after a student sit-in at UCL was forced to withdraw after university authorities threatened to single out and prosecute individual students. The occupiers had been protesting the university’s plan to open a new campus in Stratford, east London, which will see the demolition of hundreds of council homes.
The self-described plebs occupying Mitchell’s office will post updates on anticuts.com