Priti Patel accuses Sadiq Khan of 'threatening' to cut police officer numbers

Sophia Sleigh
·2-min read
Home Secretary Priti Patel asked the public to stay indoors: 10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty
Home Secretary Priti Patel asked the public to stay indoors: 10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty

Tensions between City Hall and Number 10 escalated further today after the Home Secretary accused the mayor of “threatening” to cut police numbers.

Priti Patel said crime was up in the capital despite London having the “highest police funding settlement in the country” and a cash increase of over £190 million this year.

She said: “Astonishingly, we have a mayor threatening to cut the number of police officers on the streets of London just at a time where across the country the public are rightly seeing more police officers on the beat in their local communities.”

But a source close to the mayor Sadiq Khan rubbished the accusation, saying: “Sadiq has done everything in his power to fight for more funding for our police since long before he was Mayor - while Shaun Bailey and his minister mates are forcing yet another round of huge Tory cuts on officers.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (PA)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (PA)

The Mayor of London has warned of potential cuts of almost £110million to policing as a result of a collapse in City Hall’s income due to the economic impacts of coronavirus.

It comes amid a fractious relationship between City Hall and Downing Street who have come to blows over coronavirus in recent weeks.

The Mayor accused Boris Johnson of “riding roughshod” over local leaders after plans for an M25 quarantine ring around the capital were reported in the Sunday papers. Meanwhile ministers have accused the mayor of playing politics.

Ms Patel made the comments as she introduced the Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey ahead of his speech at the Centre for Social Justice.

A spokeswoman for Mr Khan said: “Shaun Bailey simply has the wrong values for London and once again put his political party ahead our city today by standing next to the Home Secretary and refusing to urge her to properly fund London’s police.”