Diane Abbott struggles with questions on recent London terror report in latest bungled interview

Shadow Home Secretary fails to answer questions about a recent report into London's terror preparedness

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Indy Politics

Diane Abbott is facing fresh criticism after she struggled to answer questions in yet another interview – this time about a recent report on improving London’s terror preparedness.

Asked about the recommendations made by Lord Harris’s October 2016 inquiry, of which there were 127, the Shadow Home Secretary could not name one.

“Do you think some of the things he said in there were prescient and should be acted on,” asked Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan.

Ms Abbott replied that it “was about preparedness and resilience” and that we needed to act “not necessarily on every specific recommendation”.

Asked to be more specific, particularly on the bullet points Lord Harris had included, Ms Abbott said it was “an important review and we should act on it”.

Mr Murnaghan then asked what she thought about the report’s recommendations on police forces, to which Ms Abbott replied: “What the idea that they should work more closely together?”

The presenter pointed out that Lord Harris had suggested they amalgamate, to which Ms Abbott said there might be resistance.

“Have you actually read the report?” asked Mr Murnaghan, to which she replied that she had.

But when she was asked about the physical resilience, Ms Abbott said she thought it was important. Mr Murnaghan pointed out the report was talking about putting up barriers.    

It comes just over a month after Ms Abbott was criticised for underestimating the number of net losses Labour has suffered in local elections in a television interview with ITN.

After if she knew the number of net losses so far for Labour, the shadow Home Secretary said: “At the time of us doing this interview, I think the net losses are about 50.”

The interviewer corrected her, saying: “They’re actually 125 net losses so far.”

Viewers quickly took to social media to criticise the gaffe. 

That came within days of her “car crash” interview with LBC, which saw Ms Abbott struggle to give clear numbers on Labour’s plan to add 10,000 new police officer roles.

She gave several estimates for how much the new officers would cost, ranging from £300,000 to £80m.

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