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London terror attack: Jeremy Corbyn calls on Theresa May to resign over police cuts
It is high time that the Tories paid a political price for their egregious complacency vis~a~vis terrorism over many years. Indeed, some in their own party have quietly, and sometimes publicly, been critical of the Conservative position.
The Tory record ranges from David Davis’s opposition to 45 day detention for terror suspects, through to William Hague and David Cameron’s open support (and funding) for rebel Islamist elements in Libya and Syria, otherwise known as ISIS.
The Tory record also includes Hague and Cameron’s vocal criticism of Israel in the fight against Palestinian terror, and culminated in Theresa May’s abolition of Control Orders and the cutting of Police budgets.
Theresa May now says that “enough’s enough”. She could have said that in 2005 when she voted against Control Orders. She certainly should have said it before she abolished Control Orders in 2011.
Actions, Mrs May, speak louder than words. If you are re-elected on Thursday (an increasingly dubious proposition) I will expect your tough talk to be backed by robust action – of the kind you have historically opposed.
I look for the return of Tony Blair to public life, a man who’s analysis of the terror threat was, and remains, absolutely correct. Look at Blair’s warnings to Parliament when he was Prime Minster – warnings that went unheeded by Mrs May and company. Look at Blair’s warnings since then – again unheeded.
Tony Blair was right to fund the fight against terrorism adequately. Blair was right to stand with America in the fight against terrorist states. Blair was right to back Israel as night-clubs and buses were blown up by suicide bombers. Blair was right to try and facilitate peace in the Middle East.
Tony Blair was right to implement Control Orders. Blair was right to seek increased detention powers for terror suspects. Indeed, Tony Blair was right to warn of the consequences of not doing these things – consequences which are now clear for all to see.
Isn’t it time for the politicians to admit the truth: TONY BLAIR WAS RIGHT! Yahoo News
Asked by ITV News on Monday if he backed calls for the prime minister to resign, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Indeed I would.’
He added: ‘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 – yes, we do have a problem, we should never have cut the police numbers.’
When asked a second time if he wanted Mrs May to quit, Mr Corbyn replied: ‘We’ve got an election on Thursday and that’s perhaps the best opportunity to deal with it.’
At a campaign speech in Edinburgh, Mrs May tried to laugh off the calls, saying that people would make their decision in the ballot box on Thursday.
Mr Corbyn’s call comes as the prime minister sought to defend her record as the turbulent fallout from the terror attack.
She has been pilloried for presiding over the reduction in police resources, and was hit with a barrage of questions by journalists as she tried to get her campaign back on track.
It was the second time campaigning has been suspended since the snap election was called, with a longer break following the Manchester Arena attack, when 22 people were killed by a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert.
The Labour leader was asked by ITV News’ Rachel Younger if he held Mrs May ‘in any way’ responsible and if cuts to the police contributed to the London Bridge atrocity.
Mr Corbyn 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.’
He also suggested that Mrs May broke the election truce after the London Bridge attack.
‘I was surprised that only an hour after they announced they were suspending campaigning that a political speech was made on the steps of Downing Street,’ he said.
‘It was bad timing of it and I think we should have all respected the pause in campaigning, my party certainly did.’
Mr Corbyn’s call comes as the prime minister sought to defend her record as the turbulent fallout from the London Bridge terror attack continues to hit her election campaign.
Mrs May has been repeatedly challenged over her record as home secretary when she presided over cuts that have seen 20,000 fewer police officers on the country’s street.
At an election campaign event in London, Mrs May refused to say whether cuts to police numbers under her watch should be reversed after the head of the Metropolitan Police called for more resources in the wake of the London Bridge attack.
Mrs May said: ‘Cressida Dick has said that the Metropolitan Police are well resourced – and they are, she has said they have very powerful counter-terrorism capabilities – and they do.’
A video from 2015 has also re-emerged , in which Mrs May urged police to stop ‘crying wolf’ over concerns that police cuts were harming their capacity to keep the public safe.
In a speech to the Police Federation two years ago, Mrs May said: ‘This weekend, the federation warned that spending reductions mean that we’ll be “forced to adopt a paramilitary style” of policing in Britain.
‘Today you’ve said that neighbourhood police officers are an “endangered species”.
“I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good – it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve the officers you represent, and it doesn’t serve the public.
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said ‘we need to look at our resourcing’ in response to the emerging terrorism threat.