Chief whip Andrew Mitchell believes his row with Downing Street police officers has been "blown out of all proportion by the national media", he has told a local newspaper.
The MP, accused of calling police plebs and morons when they told him he could not take his bike through the main gates, told the Sutton Coldfield Observer: "I have apologised and I hope it's possible to draw a line under it."
He added: "I think most people who know me know I would not use words like pleb or moron in describing anyone. I would gently point out that I did not say the words that have been ascribed to me."
In the front-page interview with the newspaper - a free weekly publication in his constituency - Mr Mitchell echoed his initial apology, admitting that he "did not treat police with the respect they deserve", and said he had "apologised profusely" to the officer involved.
He told the newspaper he has an "excellent relationship" with the police and regularly visits the local police station.