David Cameron backs Boris Johnson over deploying water cannon in London
David Cameron put himself at odds with Theresa May, the Home Secretary, today over the use of water cannon to control riots.
The difference emerged after Boris Johnson announced he had bought three water cannon for London despite not yet receiving permission for their deployment from Mrs May.
The Mayor of London also volunteered to have the hoses turned on him to prove their safety.
The Home Secretary yesterday refused to be drawn over whether she would approve the equipment for use in the capital.
She said: “There is a decision to be taken about water cannon and I will make sure that decision is taken on the right basis. There are health and safety issues that need to be looked at very carefully.”
However, David Cameron’s official spokesman showed no such qualms when he was asked over whether he supported the use of water cannon.
READ MORE: Water cannon coming to London: Boris Johnson approves controversial crowd control tactic in challenge to Theresa May’s authority
He replied: “The Prime Minister does. There is an issue of principle here in terms of police having the resources they need.”
Mr Johnson is spending £130,000 on buying, refitting and transporting three second-hand vehicles from German police before they have been approved for use.
The Mayor has laughed off suggestions he is “playing politics” by purchasing the equipment and potentially triggering a clash with Mrs May, who is regarded as a rival to succeed Mr Cameron. His office said the German authorities had threatened to sell them elsewhere if the deal was not completed by July.
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