Tackling terrorism top of election campaign agenda

Ruben Ruiz
June 6, 2017

Just days before Britain's general election, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to resign for cutting the number of police officers during her time as home secretary.

Saturday night's London Bridge attack, which killed seven people and injured nearly 50 more, temporarily halted campaigning.

May is vulnerable because, as Home Secretary for six years, she oversaw cuts to police officer numbers by over 20,000, affecting community policing - which critics say has depleted the ability to spot extremism flourishing in neighborhoods.

May also defended her record on security and police funding, and is now providing funding to increase the number of armed officers, as well as was protecting funding for the police service nationally.

Corbyn said Theresa May should pay a price in the general election for ignoring repeated warnings not to cut police numbers.

Mr Nuttall called for 20,000 more police officers on United Kingdom streets, and for a review of funding of mosques in Britain, and Mr Bartley said the Prevent counter-radicalisation strategy should be scrapped.

She added: 'It is also about the powers you give to the police and I have been responsible for giving the police extra powers to deal with terrorism. May and the Conservatives, who some polls had previously predicted would retain its majority, have instead seen a slow decline in expected electoral support since she surprisingly called for the election April 18.

"There are plans to change the police funding formula which could mean we lose up to £700 million on top of that, which leads to a total loss of our policing budget of £1.7 billion and we don't receive the right level of funding as a capital city we should receive".

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The Tory leader said: "We need to pull together in order to try to deliver on the Brexit negotiations, not trying to drive these four nations apart, which is what Nicola Sturgeon is trying to do".

But hours later the Labour leader altered his stance saying he did not think Mrs May should resign.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, the May said her government was "protecting police budgets".

The attack follows a suicide bombing at a Manchester concert less than two weeks earlier which killed 22 people and a vehicle and knife attack in Westminster in March, which killed five.

Security forces reacted rapidly, and all three attackers had been shot dead within eight minutes of the first emergency call.

Despite her claims to be "strong and stable", her poll rating did not recover after the Manchester attack two weeks ago, suggesting voters are not overwhelmingly convinced that she is the clear choice to "keep them safe".

He said that while the Met Police did a brilliant job despite the cuts, they needed more resources.

In a blog for HuffPost UK, he wrote: "No matter how you cut it, no matter what spin you put on diversification of resource or doing things differently, there are 20,000 fewer police now than there were in 2010".

Other reports by GizPress

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