LABOUR Party leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday called on Prime Minister Theresa May to resign for presiding over police cuts while Home Secretary.
When asked if he would back calls for May’s resignation, Corbyn told ITV News: ‘Indeed I would, because there’s been calls made by a lot of very responsible people on this who are very worried that she was at the Home Office for all this time, presided over these cuts in police numbers and is now saying that we have a problem.’ He added that the ‘best way’ for the issue to be dealt with was ‘by voters on Thursday.’
Corbyn was asked by ITV News if he held May ‘in any way’ responsible and if cuts to the police contributed to the London Bridge atrocity. He replied: ‘The primary responsibility for this lies with those who did it, they killed people in cold blood in a disgusting and appalling way and there’s no words other than total condemnation. On the issues of policing – the government has been warned repeatedly about police cuts, and the Police Federation and many others have said how 20,000 have gone down over the past seven years.
‘We’ve said we’d put 10,000 back immediately and also increase the number of security officers that are available, because clearly intelligence is a very important part of this. It’s also very important to have a message of bringing communities together and that is something I always give very strongly at all of my events.’
At a press conference in London, May ducked a question on police cuts altogether. This came after she claimed: ‘The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has said that the Met is well resourced, and they are, and that they have very powerful counter-terrorism capabilities, and they do.’
May has come under attack from within the Tory ranks. Ex-PM Cameron’s former aide Steve Hilton yesterday called for May to go and said she should have taken responsibility for the cuts she made while at the Home Office.
He tweeted: ‘Theresa May responsible for security failures of London Bridge, Manchester, Westminster Bridge. Should be resigning not seeking re-election.’ Commenting on newspaper reports that appeared to attribute some responsibility to the security services, Hilton added: ‘Theresa May blame shifting again. Her spin doctors attack MI5, but she was in charge of them for years.’