Home Secretary Amber Rudd denies police cuts contributed to Manchester terror attack
Amber Rudd has rejected claims that cuts to police forces led to the terror attack in Manchester that left 22 dead and many injured
Home Secretary Amber Rudd - Image credit: Parliament TV
Amber Rudd has rejected claims that cuts to police forces led to the terror attack in Manchester that left 22 people dead and dozens more injured.
The Home Secretary said “we must not imply” that the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday night may not have taken place if there had been more police officers.
She argued that the head of counter-terrorism in the UK insisted the attack was “not about resources” and stressed that local intelligence is gathered more from the Prevent strategy than through policing.
Rudd also said she hoped that the critical threat level, which has seen troops deployed to Britain’s streets, would only last “a few days”.
It comes as Jeremy Corbyn will today suggest suggest that cuts to the police budget contributed to the atrocity at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Appearing on BBC Question Time Rudd was asked by an audience member whether the UK Government expected atrocities like that seen in Manchester after cutting the number of police officers.
“I don’t accept that. I have asked the head of counter-terrorism whether this is about resources. It is not,” she replied.
“There may a conversation to have about policing, we may have that at some stage.
“But now is not that conversation. We must not imply that this terrorist activity may not have taken place if there had been more policing.”
The Home Secretary added: “Good counter-terrorism is when you have close relationships between the policing and intelligence services. That is what we have.
“That is why the UK has a strong counter-terrorism network. It’s also about making sure we get in early on radicalisation. But it’s not about those pure numbers on the street.”
The audience member argued that the issue does centre around police numbers, “because it is low-level intelligence that gives you the information.”
Rudd replied: “That is not where we get the intelligence from. We get the intelligence much more from the Prevent strategy, which engages with local community groups, not through the police.
“It is not about policing so much as engaging with community leaders in the area.”
Jeremy Corbyn will today seek to link British military action abroad with the suicide bomb attack on Monday evening, saying the UK “must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working”.
He will also argue that a Labour government would base its foreign policy on “solidarity, humanity and compassion”.
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