Nick Clegg On Armed Police Officers: 'We Should Not Abandon British Traditions'

25 March 2017, 17:00 | Updated: 25 March 2017, 17:11

In the wake of the Westminster terror attack, Nick Clegg told Ian Payne we should not "abandon" "longstanding and much-cherished" British traditions.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and former Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, spoke to LBC Presenter Ian Payne on his Saturday afternoon LBC show. 

Ian asked Mr Clegg whether policemen should be armed following the Westminster terror attack.

This is what he had to say: "I don't think we should, on the basis of this horrible murderous incident, summarily abandon some very longstanding and much-cherished British traditions of policing by consent, which are very, very different to other policing traditions in other countries.  

"It just means that our bobbies on the beat are not always armed to the teeth. We have maintained that policing tradition through thick and thin, even at a time when, I remember as a youngster hearing IRA bombs go off in the centre of London.  

"So I think it would be a great shame if we were to do that.  I think clearly, there are questions about whether we need a permanent armed police presence at the gates of the Houses of Parliament."  

Ian said: "Do you think we should?"  

Nick continued: "Well they apparently were there until relatively recently, and that seems to me to be clearly something for the review, and not for non-specialists like me to decide upon.  

"But it's the kind of thing I think we should look at, rather than, sort of summarily changing the way in which we conduct our long- held tradition of policing by consent on the streets of London, and the streets of the communities up and down the country."