Top cop accuses Theresa May of ‘stabbing police in the back’ after Westminster terror attack
One of the UK's top cops has accused Theresa May of “stabbing police in the back” after the latest terror attack on Westminster.
Police Federation chair John Apter launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister in the wake of the incident, saying that she showed “contempt” for police forces.
Earlier this week a man was arrested for mowing down cyclists and smashing into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.
In the wake fof the attack, the Prime Minister was quick to praise the “formidable courage” of the emergency services.
“Once again, they did not flinch and ran towards a dangerous situation in order to protect the public”, she said.
“The country is hugely grateful for their calmness and professionalism.”
But Mr Apter said that the comments had prompted fury from officers who were faced with continuing budget cuts.
He told the Press Association: “What angers me is that in times of crisis, such as what happened yesterday on the doorstep almost of Parliament, then the Prime Minister is the first to celebrate how brilliant police officers and policing are, but in the very next breath she’s stabbing them in the back
“The hypocrisy that comes from the Prime Minister really does stink. She can’t have her cake and eat it when it comes to a relationship with policing and with police officers.”
Mr Apter also took to Twitter to confront the Prime Minister directly. Quoting a tweet in which she paid tribute to emergency services in the wake of the attack, he said: “Your thanks to those means nothing…
“You can no longer show contempt for policing and to those who deliver it and expect them to accept your thanks the next day. That’s not how it works! Warm words are not enough.”
His comments come amid revelations that Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned the Prime Minister she was making the “wrong decision” by blocking a proposal to hike police pay by 3 per cent.
In a letter from the Home Office to Downing Street, senior officials told the Prime Minister that Mr Javid had been “strongly in favour” of a 3 per cent pay increase for police.
They wrote: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided that officers should only be given a 2 per cent consolidated pay award, meaning only a small 1 per cent pay rise in reality. He continues to be of the view that this is the wrong decision.”
A Downing Street source said: “The Prime Minister has respect and admiration for all the work which officers do from the people who look after her in No 10 to the work that everyone does on the front line.”