Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned Theresa May to halt planned police cuts in the wake of the Finsbury Park attack and “a terrible few weeks for London”.
Speaking near the site of the latest violent incident that left one person dead and 10 injured, Khan made clear his anger at the Government’s plans to slash budgets further for the Metropolitan Police.
He pointed out that the force had had to cope with the terror attack on Westminster Bridge, London Bridget and now Finsbury Park.
“I’ve been saying for 12 months now my concern about the resources the Met Police and others have,” he said.
“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 48-year-old man has been arrested after the terror attack which saw a van plough into people outside an Islamic place of worship in North London.
The incident took place as people left the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, after midnight prayers during Ramadan.
Khan’s warning about funding follows similar pleas from Jeremy Corbyn and senior police officers in the last week of the general election campaign, when the Manchester terror attack sparked calls for an end to police cuts. Some 20,000 officers have been axed in the past seven years.
Khan revealed that the police were so stretched that they were having to cancel leave and bring officers back from holiday to staff the city.
“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,” he 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.”
The Mayor said that there would be an increased “visible police presence” and “a zero tolerance of hate crime”.
“These have been a terrible few weeks for London…We will stay a strong city we will ensure we are not cowed by terrorism. We are united today and we will carry on being united.”
Security minister Ben Wallace told BBC News that the Prime Minister had already signalled that if the police “needs more powers or needs more resource we will get that”.
But he added: “I have to remind people that this is the United Kingdom, we had the Manchester attack, I am an MP in a northern constituency, we need to makes sure the resources across the UK fit the threat.”
He said that funding to security services had recently been increased by the Government by 30% to £15.2bn.
“That’s a massive increase, as no one else in the public sector has seen,” Wallace said.