Theresa May should be “utterly ashamed” of her record on law and order, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said as he hit out at cuts to emergency services.
In his Labour conference speech, Mr Khan led a standing ovation for the emergency services for their response through “one of the darkest times in London’s recent history”.
The mayor – who was initially denied a speech at the gathering in Brighton before a late change of plan – also used his address to praise Jeremy Corbyn after clashing with the Labour leader in the past.
But Mr Corbyn was not in the audience to hear Mr Khan pay tribute to him as the man who “mobilised our movement … motivated our activists and reached voters we hadn’t reached before”.
The mayor backed Owen Smith’s leadership challenge in 2016 but said that at the general election “we made huge progress and credit must go to one person, the leader of our party, Jeremy Corbyn”.
The mayor used his speech to highlight the funding cuts faced by the police and the public sector pay restraint which has seen the wages of emergency workers squeezed.
“It’s been one of the darkest times in London’s recent history. We’ve been through too much suffering, too much horror, and too much loss,” khan said.
“The terrorist attack on Westminster – the heart of our democracy.
“The attack on innocent people, enjoying a night out in London Bridge and Borough Market. The horrific fire at Grenfell Tower. The attack on innocent people near Finsbury Park Mosque during Ramadan.
“And the attack at Parsons Green station on Londoners, as they travelled into work and school.
“Nobody expects such tragedy. And no one should tolerate it.”
Mr Khan highlighted AGBP1 billion of real-terms cuts to Scotland Yard between 2010 and 2021 and the 7 per cent fall in police funding for counter-terrorism over the next three years, demanding that the government commits to a real-terms increase in November’s budget.
He accused the Tory government of overseeing a rise in crime after seven years of cuts to the emergency services, including the police, fire service, NHS and transport network.
“The Tories used to describe themselves as the party of law and order … well that sounds like a sick joke today. And frankly, as a former home secretary, Theresa May should be utterly ashamed of her record,” he said.