Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government Puts London in Peril by Cutting Funds for the Met, Warns Mayor

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government Puts London in Peril by Cutting Funds for the Met, Warns Mayor

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor

SADIQ KHAN today issued his starkest warning yet that underfunding the Metropolitan Police would put London's security at risk from a terror attack.

It came as the final interviews to succeed Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe as Britain's top police officer were taking place, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Mr Khan meeting the last two candidates.

As MPs debated this year's police authority grants, the Mayor called on the Government to rethink its budget plans for London.

He believes the Met is "significantly short-changed" by as much as PS172 million a year for its responsibilities policing the capital -- including keeping Londoners secure at major events.

Former Scotland Yard counterterrorism chief Cressida Dick is in pole position to become the first female Met Commissioner after impressing in early discussions. However, insiders said her appointment was not a "shoo-in" even though she is understood to be the Mayor's preferred choice.

Ms Dick, who was "gold commander" when Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was mistakenly shot dead by anti-terrorist officers in 2005, faces strong competition from Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, in charge of specialist operations for the Met.

Sara Thornton, former chief constable of Thames Valley police, who became the first president of the National Police Chiefs' Council, and Stephen Kavanagh, the chief constable of Essex, are also in the running.

Mr Khan believes the successful candidate will have a fight on their hands to get money back from the Government for the Met's capital city functions.

Scotland Yard spends PS346 million a year on diplomatic protection and policing major events such as protests, concerts, football matches and state occasions such as Donald Trump's visit later this year. It wants the Home Office to reimburse Londoners by around PS172 million a year, while even the Whitehall department's own expert panel suggested the Met should get PS65 million extra. …

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