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Shaun Bailey and Sadiq Khan in heated row over London policing strategy

25 April 2021, 13:32 | Updated: 28 April 2021, 14:25

By Seán Hickey

The two London Mayoral candidates locked horns over cuts to the policing budget in the capital during a debate live on Swarbrick on Sunday.

LBC's Tom Swarbrick asked both Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey what their "strategic direction for policing in London" would be if elected.

The incumbent gave the first response, telling Tom that he has "been honest with Londoners" over the policing budget and the difficulties he faced during his time as Mayor.

Mr Khan told Tom that "you can't cut from the police, you can't cut from youth services, you can't cut from public services and not expect a consequence," referencing Government cuts on spending.

He noted that despite cuts, he managed to fund "3,000 additional police officers" for the city, and challenged Shaun Bailey on his attempts to protect services while a Number 10 adviser.

Shaun Bailey hit back, accusing Mr Khan of taking "38 million pounds out of the police staffing budget."

Read More: London Mayoral Election: Who are the candidates?

He told Tom that the current crime epidemic in the capital is "the consequence of having a Mayor who had no focus on public safety."

Read More: Watch in Full: London Mayoral Debate | Sadiq Khan vs. Shaun Bailey

"When you ask me what my plan is for London around crime," Mr Bailey said, "it's to make streets safer by having 8,000 extra police officers, by reopening 38 police stations closed by Sadiq Khan."