LONDON — Culture Secretary Karen Bradley repeatedly refused to say whether Tory cuts to police had made Britain’s streets less safe in a car crash interview on “Good Morning Britain” on Monday.
Bradley accused “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan of asking “pub quiz” questions and being “simplistic” about whether Britain needs more police in the wake of three deadly terror attacks within the space of as many months.
Three unidentified terrorists attacked London Bridge and nearby Borough Market in central London on Saturday, killing seven and leaving at least 48 injured.
“You don’t want to confront the reality of police cuts,” Morgan told Bradley on Monday morning.
He reminded Bradley that Prime Minister Theresa May was warned about the impact of cuts to community policing by one-time Community Police Officer of the Year, Damian O’Reilly. The warning came in 2015, while May was home secretary.
However, Bradley repeatedly dodged the question of cuts to armed officers and community policing.
“I don’t think it is fair to say there has been a slashing of anything,” the Culture Secretary replied. “You’re being too simplistic in suggesting it’s just about the number of police officers. It’s about capability, it’s about resourcing, it’s about training, it’s about powers.”
This annoyed Morgan, known for his no-nonsense and abrasive style of interviewing, who asked: “Why can’t you answer a straight question?”
He then referred back to Damian O’Reilly’s 2015 warning to May about the impact of cuts to community policing.
“That is a warning that’s absolutely come to pass,” he said. “There will be many who argue that Theresa May’s cuts mean she now has the blood of our civilians on her hands.”
Official Home Office figures show that there are over 1,300 fewer armed officers on Britain’s streets now compared to before the Conservatives came to power in seven years ago. Despite this, Bradley continued to refuse to acknowledge that there had been a reduction.
Here is Bradley’s calamitous “Good Morning Britain” interview in full:
Later on Monday, May will give a speech in central London as the general election campaign enters its final days.
She is set to emphasise the importance of strong leadership and could expand on plans she set out yesterday to tackle extremism in the UK.
“It’s about leadership rather than a new policy. And about the campaign, not just terror,” a Conservative source told Business Insider.
The PM said in a speech on Downing Street yesterday that there was “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country,” and called for greater powers to intercept online communications.
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