Cross-party smackdown for Home Secretary

A tweet crosses my desk from Cllr Kemp, itself a retweet from LGCPlus journalist Ruth Keeling. It contains a link to the Association of Police Authorities – not a body I am overly familiar with, but it has a fairly self-explanatory title.

The link is directly to a fairly draw-dropping cross-party letter from chairs of Police Authorities around the country who have a fairly serious beef with the Home Secretary’s accuracy in a recent speech.

Theresa May appears to have tried to shore up support for the Conservative policy of elected police commissioners by insinuating that in London, taxpayers got a better service from the elected police chief (and Mayor) Boris Johnson, than in other parts of the country where there are indirectly elected Chairs of Police Authorities instead.

A large number of Chairs of Police Authorities are not happy at the suggestion:

This un-evidenced, London-centric assertion was either regretfully ill-informed or wilfully inaccurate. In either case we believe it to be unbecoming of a Secretary of State. It has caused not only bemusement but anger amongst police authorities and our partners across the country.

Quite simply, your allegations are completely untrue and a cursory conversation with the relevant Chief Constables, Council Leaders or representatives of local media could have confounded it.

The facts are that not only Chairs, but the full range of diverse police authority members were out listening to communities and reflecting their concerns to the police at the highest levels in GOLD meetings across the country. Authorities provided both support and appropriate challenge to forces. We worked closely with Chief Constables to ensure that they had all that they needed to police confidently, with full operational independence in defence of the public. Both in public and in private, we simply got on with the job. Police Authority Chairs were out on the front foot; convening meetings with the leaders of other emergency services, local councils, local media and community leaders, as well as visiting affected areas.

It is a matter of record that a number of Police Authority Chairs actually cancelled their leave to ensure that the police could respond to public concerns. Before any politicians could tour the streets of London with TV cameras in tow, Police Authority Chairs from across the country had agreed the mutual aid which played an indispensable role in restoring order to London and ensuring that those streets were again safe to stroll. This was done without fanfare, but quietly, in the national interest.

Read the rest of the strongly-worded letter here.

Whilst you’re on the site, you might be interested, as I was to see their map of police authorities, the e-factsheet “What is a Police Authority?” and learn that there are also two non-geographical police authorities too. There’s something I didn’t know: there’s a British Transport Police Authority and a Civil Nuclear Police Authority.

Read more by or more about , , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Un-evidenced, London-centric, ill-informed, wilfully inaccurate?

    Er, hello, it’s the conservative party.

  • This is two major pieces of blatant political game playing that have been shown to be as much by the Home Secretary.

    Firstly, she wrongly claimed that she and other Cabinet members had changed the tactics of Police, a claim rightly rebutted by ACPO. And secondly she insulted those dedicated Police Authority members that worked so hard during and after the riots.

    I would like to see some backbench crticism from Lib Dem MP’s and (shall we say) less than enthusiastic support from Cabinet Ministers. If this were a Labour Home Secretary or a Tory in a non coalition we would probably be calling for their head. Cabinet Ministers need to take a back seat, but this is a further chance to put some clear water between the blatant political games of some and, what I would hope to be, a measured and accurate Lib Dem response.

  • What Steve said

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Mar - 2:00pm
    Roland It depends what you mean by "thinking it through". As none of what you said in your lengthy reply remotely justified the ludicrous home=country...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Mar - 1:33pm
    The Gladstone Club used to meet at the National Liberal Club under the chairmanship of Roger Pincham The attraction for me was the excellence...
  • User AvatarJoeB 17th Mar - 12:22pm
    Peter, I am not sure what you mean when you say "there are some grey areas over how the CAD is defined, for example, with...
  • User AvatarAlison Whelan 17th Mar - 11:58am
    As one official put it, I am quite bloody-minded and still do not fully accept my limitations - and perhaps they are right, but I...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Mar - 11:32am
    But surely if you insist on a certain level of English proficiency as being conditional on getting a visa and working in public facing professions...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 17th Mar - 10:58am
    Due to good health care,an improved diet ,relatively full employment and a stable environment are population is living much , much longer .However compared to...