The Police Federation has accused Theresa May of telling the House of Commons a “downright lie” about the level of police pay at Prime Minister’s Questions today.
Calum Macleod, the vice chair of the Police Federation, told HuffPost UK: “The government stating that police officers have had a 32% pay rise since 2010 is a joke – and is in fact a downright lie.
“It shows they have lost touch with reality, if they ever had it, and are clueless as to the demands and dangers officers have to face on a daily basis to keep communities safe. Officers are struggling to keep their heads above water and all we are asking for is fair recognition.”
Theresa May faces accusations of “divide and rule” for lifting the punishing public sector pay cap only for police officers with a 1% rise (plus a 1% bonus) and prison officers (1.7% rise) – both funded from existing budgets while medics, teachers and other public servants still facing real term decline in pay.
So it was not surprising that Jeremy Corbyn skewered the Prime Minister on the treatment of public servants at PMQ’s. The Labour leader picked up on the underwhelmed reaction of police and prison officers for whom the offer does not even match inflation. He told Theresa May that they too are looking at real term pay cuts, not just nurses and other public sector workers.
Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn pay rises that a police officer would have, insisting that “a calculation suggests a new police officer joining the force in 2010, thanks to progression pay and annual basic salary increases, an increase the personal allowance tax cut, has actually seen an increase in their pay of £9,000 since 2010, a real-term increase of 32%.”
Theresa May lies to Parliament about Police Pay. “The government stating that police officers have had a 32% pay rise since 2010 is a joke – and is in fact a downright lie." – Calum McLeod, vice chair Police Federation#TheresaMay #PublicSectorPayCap #Labour #Conservative #Policing #TLE
Posted by The London Economic on Wednesday, 13 September 2017
But Calum Macleod took the unprecedented step of accusing the PM of telling the House of Commons a lie. The Police Federation boss explained: “When comparing total pay in 2015/2016 to what it was in 2009/2010 it has increased in nominal terms by +2%, but decreased by -16% in real terms. This cannot be right.
“We expect police officers to run in to the face of danger every day to protect the public however the Government refuses to give them the money they deserve.”
This is another embarrassing example of the former Home Secretary’s fraught relationship with the police force that should be able to rely on her.
As longest serving Home Secretary Theresa May oversaw unparalleled cuts to policing: 20,000 frontline police officers, 1,300 firearms- trained officers and 26,000 community support officers.
Before the General Election this summer a video clip of a Manchester police officer that she herself had awarded a prize for Britain’s community policeman of the year in 2010 surfaced and went viral. Inspector Damian O’Reilly in front of a huge audience at the Police Federation’s annual conference warned Theresa May that her cuts to police at were endangering Manchester and national security.
“Intelligence has dried up. There aren’t local officers, they don’t know what’s happening. They’re all reactive, there’s no proactive policing locally. That is the reality ma’am,” said the Manchester officer In May 2015, warning: “neighbourhood policing is critical to dealing with terrorism. We run the risk here of letting communities down, putting officers at risk and ultimately risking national security and I would ask you to seriously consider the budget and the level of cuts over the next five years.”
– A particularly chilling warning as in May 2017 Manchester police could only react to the horrific bombing atrocity in Manchester Arena.
Theresa May’s response had been: “the police need to stop crying wolf and scaremongering about terrorism.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction to the Prime Minister’s relaxed attitude to figures today, and her recent countless u-turns was to accuse her of being impossible to trust.
“For Theresa May to claim police officers have enjoyed bumper pay rises under the Tories shows just how divorced the prime minister and her government are from reality and from the lives of our hard-working public service workers,” said the Labour Party leader.
“In the last few days the government’s position on the public sector pay cap has changed so many times it is hard to keep up and impossible to trust a word the Conservatives say on the issue.
“Labour totally rejects the Tories’ attempt to divide and rule public sector workers and a Labour government would end the pay cap for all workers and give them all the pay rises they desperately need and deserve.”