After a term as Mayor of London entirely characterised by party political point-scoring, Sadiq has now written to Tory candidate Shaun Bailey with an “urgent request” to join him in “standing up for London by putting pressure on the Government not to force another era of austerity on our police and preventative services.” The same Sadiq who in June began threatening to cut 3,600 police officers from the streets…
The letter goes onto presume that as a former Crime Adviser in No. 10 when the Government first implemented austerity, “you must be all too aware of the terrible consequences of the last decade of cuts”. Those terrible consequences consisting of a significant overall reduction in the crime rate…
Responding to Sadiq’s begging letter, Shaun Bailey tells Guido:
Khan wants to take the politics out of policing. And he’s right.
The only problem is his track record. Sadiq Khan has played politics with the police from day one. And now he wants to defund the police, something I refuse to even discuss.
Instead of taking a symbolic and meaningless pay cut, the Mayor should cut waste from City Hall. Like the £760k he spent on beach parties. Or the 26% increase in his PR budget.
Sadiq knows Bailey will never sign up to this absurd pact – watch him now accuse the Tory candidate of being the one playing party politics…
Read Sadiq’s letter in full below:
As you will be aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our city’s public finances – just as it has on other local government authorities across the country.
We are facing the perfect storm of increased costs incurred in responding to the crisis, combined with a huge reduction in our revenue. As a result, unless the Government takes urgent action, further cuts of £110 million will need to be made to policing in London at the worst possible time, just when there is a real risk of violent crime rising as lockdown is eased. Essential preventative services, like youth clubs and mental health support, are also at risk.
I’ve already taken a pay cut and I will do everything I can to protect front-line services by using the reserves we prudently built up before the pandemic hit. But nothing could have prepared us for the scale of the financial blackhole that needs plugging.
These are unprecedented times that require us all to do what we can to help our city. So I’m writing with an urgent request for you, as the Conservative candidate for Mayor, to join me in standing up for London by putting pressure on the Government not to force another era of austerity on our police and preventative services.
Londoners care deeply about tackling violent crime in our city. And as a former Youth and Crime Adviser in Downing Street when the Government first implemented its initial wave of austerity, you must be all too aware of the terrible consequences of the last decade of cuts, which have led to a rise in violent crime across the country, including in London, since 2014.
Londoners should not be punished for doing the right thing on Covid-19. So let’s take the politics out of this vital issue at this extraordinary time for our city, and work together to hold the Government to account and to urge them to do what’s in the best interests of Londoners. Please pick up the phone, write a letter or do whatever you can to get the message across to your friends and colleagues in the Conservative Party: now is not the time to impose more government cuts, but to invest in our police and in preventative services.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mayor of London