A Tory backbencher has described Andrew Mitchell as “effectively castrated” after a bruising PMQs and meeting of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers yesterday. But the “f***ing plebs” MP lived to offend another day after an operation to save his skin by party top brass.

Angry MPs were begged not to speak out against Mitchell by 1922 executive member Bernard Jenkin, while any journalist in sight was briefed that Mitchell “needs to rebuild his relationships with colleagues”.

And while vice-chairman John Whittingdale said the party should “draw a line” under the affair, he spurned an opportunity to express his personal backing for Mitchell — and admitted that he may not retain the confidence of the backbenchers for whose discipline he is supposedly responsible.

The influential body has spilt the blood of numerous senior Tories on the floor of Committee Room 14, with David Mellor, Iain Duncan SmithLeon Brittan and Peter Carrington among its victims.

If Mitchell had resigned immediately he could have returned after a year on the naughty step.

That isn’t an option now.

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