Theresa May won't take our calls now, police complain

Federation chairman says its relationship with the Home Secretary is at all-time low

The relationship between Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and the leaders of rank-and-file police officers has deteriorated to such an extent that neither side has spoken to the other for six months, The Independent has learned.

Ms May has not held a meeting with a senior Police Federation leader since May, when more than 1,000 officers greeted her speech to the body's annual conference in Bournemouth with complete silence.

The Police Federation said that it had tried to arrange several appointments with her – in particular around the time of August's riots – but were rebuffed by her officials.

The Police Federation chairman, Paul McKeever, said that the relationship was now worse than with any other recent Home Secretary. "We've tried to see her, tried to arrange meetings, and keep getting rebuffed," he said.

"In the past I would have the mobile number of the Home Secretary and we would see them regularly – but with Ms May nothing."

Ms May is known to have been angry at her treatment by the Police Federation conference, where she endured 40 minutes of hostile questioning, including a live video link-up with PC David Rathband, the officer blinded by the killer Raoul Moat.

"I was paid £35,000 last year. Do you think it was too much?" he asked her.

Mr McKeever said: "It sometimes seems like she is trying to intentionally antagonise officers: Telling them that they're being paid too much, that they don't do enough work. There is real anger about the Government's plans for the police and they should be talking to us about that."

The Police Federation is particularly incensed by Government moves to reform officers' pay and conditions. The Home Office, in turn, accuses the federation of exaggerating a planned reductions in police numbers and stoking up public fear about the effects of such cuts. It now holds it in no more esteem than other public-sector unions.

Mr McKeever said the situation had been exacerbated by the absence of Nick Herbert, the police minister, who was on sick leave overthe summer. "We don't have a problem with Mr Herbert at all," said Mr McKeever. "He has always been helpful and engaged. But you would have thought when he was away that would be more of a reason for Ms May to meet us but... she doesn't appear to want to listen to us."

Ms May's spokesman was unavailable for comment.

May loses her diary

An officer from Scotland Yard received a stern dressing down yesterday after a copy of Theresa May's work diary was left in a concert hall. The five-page A4 document contained her private secretary's mobile phone number, and contact details of other people she was due to meet.

It revealed that the Home Secretary had a meeting arranged on Tuesday with the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, Keith Bristow, to discuss his candidacy to become head of the National Crime Agency. There were also times and venues of visits to a magistrates court open day, the opening of a furniture repair shop near Reading, a charity cabaret evening at Wentworth Golf Club and her appearance on the Anne Diamond show for Radio Berkshire.

The diary was found by the deputy editor of the magazine Police Review, Royston Martis, on a table by the entrance to the Glasgow Concert Halls on Sunday, after Mrs May had been to a National Police Memorial Day.

Home Office officials claimed there had been no security risk. But Mr Martis said: "I think there certainly were security implications. It detailed her meetings over three days, including daily visits to the gym, with the times. If it fell into the wrong hands, who knows what could have happened?"

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits