London Mayor Says Terror Will Be Harder to Stop If May Wins VoteBy
U.K. capital could lose 12,800 officers, Labour mayor says
May says effective policing not just about staff numbers
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it will be harder to stop future terrorist attacks if Prime Minister Theresa May wins Thursday’s general election and carries out planned changes to the Metropolitan Police’s funding.
In a statement that praised the “tremendous bravery” of police during the attack on Saturday night that left seven dead, Khan warned the U.K. capital would lose between 3,400 and 12,800 officers if the premier pushes through budget cuts proposed by her Conservative Party.
“The Conservative plans mean another 400 million pounds ($516 million) of cuts to the Met, as well as between 184 million pounds and 700 million pounds a year because of their changes to the police funding formula,” Khan, a member of the opposition Labour Party, said in an email. “Cuts on this scale would make it harder to foil future terrorist attacks on our city and as Mayor of London I’m simply not willing to stand by and let that happen.”
Security has become a central issue in the June 8 vote after attacks on Manchester and London during the campaign. Khan warned that the proposed cuts would lead to the loss of thousands of community police officers who “act as the eyes and ears of the security services, providing the intelligence and information that allows us to disrupt attempted terrorist attacks.”
The prime minister refused to say if she would reverse cuts made to budgets while she was home secretary between 2010 and 2016 that led to 20,000 fewer police on Britain’s streets.
“It’s not just about resource, it’s about the powers people have,” May said at a campaign event in central London on Monday. “I have been responsible for giving the police extra powers to deal with terrorism.”
May said on Monday that Khan is “doing a good job” as mayor of London as he leads the response to the weekend attack. It’s “wrong” for people, including U.S. President Donald Trump, to say otherwise, she said.