- REUTERS/Neil Hall
London Mayor Khan urges Prime Minister Theresa May not to go through with sweeping police cuts. Khan says the capital needs the “right level of funding” to deal with terrorist threat. The Mayor visits Finsbury Park Mosque along with May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
LONDON – Sadiq Khan has pleaded with Prime Minister Theresa May not to go ahead with planned cuts to police numbers and budget in London.
Speaking in the wake of a terrorist attack on a north London mosque that left one dead and at least 10 others injured on Monday morning, the mayor of London warned May that the capital needs the “right level of funding”.
Addressing media near Finsbury Park Mosque on Monday afternoon, Khan said:
“I’ve been saying for 12 months now my concern about the resources the Met police and others have.
“My message to the Government is, the plan you have to make the further cuts of £400m: don’t do it.
“My message to the Government is, the plans you have to change the police funding formula so London loses more money: don’t do it.”
“My message to the Government is, we need to get the right level of funding for a capital city.”
A man driving a white van mounted a pavement and hit a group of worshippers exiting the mosque just after midnight. The man – who police say acted alone – cannot be named for legal reasons.
It was the third terrorist attack to be committed on the streets of London in less than four months. In March, Khalid Masood killed five after driving into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. Earlier this month, three men drove into pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out of their van and attacking people in nearby Borough Market, leaving eight dead and at least 48 injured.
Khan’s warning about police cuts follows similar pleas from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and both high-ranking and former high-ranking police officers in the final weeks of the election campaign. In 2015, One-time Community Police Officer of the Year, Damian O’Reilly, made a heartfelt appeal to May to reverse cuts to local policing which had caused intelligence about possible attacks to dry up. Around 20,000 officers have been axed in the past seven years.
Khan said this afternoon that police resources in London are so stretched that officers on holiday are being called back to ensure there is an increased presence in the capital in response to the most recent terrorist incident.
“I’ve been reassured by the Commissioner and by Gold Command that borough commanders across London will able to use leave from officers, including calling some officers back off leave, to make we have got an increased presence across London so all Londoners can feel safe,” Khan said.
“At this particular time, you’ll appreciate why those of Islamic faith who go about their place of worship, particularly in the evenings, need that additional reassurance.
“The police will be ensuring there’s an increased police presence across London, but particularly those parts of London where there are big Muslim communities around mosques and other places of worship.”
London mayor Khan visited the North London mosque along with Corbyn and May.