On Monday night and throughout Tuesday Ealing council leader Julian Bell did a very good job of leading the Borough in the face of the terrible Ealing riot of Monday night which saw the tragic death of Ealing resident Richard Mannington Bowes.
On Wednesday Bell decided to start the political mudslinging with a series of tweets, see here. In a piece for the Ealing & Acton Gazette yesterday he said:
I am also angry with those responsible for cutting Police numbers and resources as it was clear to me as I watched from the Town Hall steps a heroic thin blue line of local officers (including my own Ward Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant) attempt to secure the Town Centre from these thugs, that they were woefully under-resourced and lacking in sufficient numbers to do what was needed.
This statement is nonsense and the worst kind of political opportunism. Bellâ€™s deputy and portfolio holder for community safety, Cllr Ranjit Dheer, got in on the act with a letter to the Gazette about police numbers.
Is the Tory government going soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime?
Nationally and locally Labour think that there is political advantage to be made out of this issue and have wasted no time in getting their blows in first.
Bell and Dheer are pretty brazen. Far from tinkering around the edges with police numbers they have presided over a 38% cash cut in the councilâ€™s contribution to policing which has resulted in a 58% reduction in headcount, see here.
The police like most other parts of the state will have to do more for less over the next few years, as has been acknowledged by senior Labour figures, for instance:
- Labourâ€™s last Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said he could not guarantee police officer numbers.
- Ed Balls admitted Labour would have cut police staff.
- Yvette Cooper admited that police funding would be cut by Labour and that Labourâ€™s plans were to cut 12 per cent from police funding.
Ealing Labour hold firmly to the belief that if they consistently lie to Ealing residents they will convince them that black is white.