Theresa May has ruffled some mayoral feathers, inciting anger from both city halls in London and Greater Manchester after she told the House of Commons the mayors are to blame for the recent spike in knife crime.
While battling her Labour rivals during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, May was confronted about the climbing rate of knife related crime across the United Kingdom.
In her responses May took no prisoners, lashing out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. She also took swipes at London Mayor Sadiq Kahn and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, both Labour men.
“We’ve put in various pieces of work on anti-knife crime…The leader of the opposition voted against changing the law so that anyone caught carrying a knife for a second time would face a custodial sentence.
“He has called for much shorter sentences for those who break the law and he might want to reflect on the fact when there was a Conservative mayor in London, knife crime went down.
“Now there is a Labour mayor in government, knife crime is going up.”
May then rounded on Corbyn, who told the floor that since “2015 direct government funding to the police has fallen by £413 million.”
May was having none of it.
“He also talks about the issue of police budgets. This is a government that is protecting police budgets,” she said.
“I might remind the right honorable gentleman that the Labour Party’s former shadow home secretary – now the police and crime commissioner of Greater Manchester – himself said that the police could take up to a 10 percent cut in their budget.”
Soon, social media was afire with outraged armchair pundits who were just raring to have a crack.
Theresa May needs to face facts – the police service is on it’s knees. Officer numbers are the lowest since comparable records began and recorded crime is going UP. No regrets though Theresa 🙄 #PMQshttps://t.co/EblMyGcsJ5
— Daniel Clark-Neal (@danclarkneal) February 7, 2018
Why have you been lying about protecting police budgets? We have heard accounts from within policing, but what you tell us doesn’t match up with what they’ve experienced.
Frankly, it’s disgraceful to stand at the despatch box and lie. #PMQs#bbcqt
— Christoph (@FawkesFirestorm) February 7, 2018
Both Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, respectively, added their voices to the outrage, lashing out at the Prime Minister’s comments.
Can’t believe, after all these years, the PM is still misrepresenting me at PMQs. She is the one who has cut @gmpolice for 8 years in a row!
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) February 7, 2018
“Can’t believe, after all these years, the PM is still misrepresenting me at PMQs,” Burnham said.
“The PM simply can’t be allowed to get away with misleading information,” Kahn said, sharing a LabourList article written by himself on the issue.
The PM simply can’t be allowed to get away with misleading information. Knife crime is rising across Britain – not just London – & started going up well before May 2016. 8 years of Tory cuts to police & preventative services must urgently be reversed #PMQshttps://t.co/8sckVeQ1aa
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 7, 2018
“The Tory approach has seen recorded crime, particularly violent crime, rise across England and Wales in recent years,” Kahn said in the article. It’s become a huge national problem, creating bereaved families, devastating communities and ruining lives.
“Keeping Londoners safe is my top priority, and the safety and security of our country should be the top priority of any government.”
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