‘Shoot terrorists first and ask questions later,’ says Labour’s Angela Rayner

Deputy leader says she has ‘hardline’ stance on crime – urging police to ‘antagonise’ thugs

‘Words have consequences’: Starmer replies on whether PM responsible for death threats

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has said Britain’s terror police should “shoot first” and “ask questions second”, as the party sets out its credentials on law and order.

The senior figure distanced herself from Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to criminal justice issues, saying she was on a “different page” to the former Labour leader.

“On things like law and order I am quite hardline. I am like, shoot your terrorists and ask questions second,” Ms Rayner told Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast.

Apparently taken aback by the audience reaction at the live event, the Labour deputy added: “Sorry – is that the most controversial thing I’ve ever said?”

Sir Keir Starmer’s party is using this week’s parliamentary recess to set out a tougher approach on crime.

Earlier this week the Labour leader has accused the Conservatives of being “soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime” by failing to tackle violence and to provide enough opportunities for young people.

Labour has also said it would look at introducing a scheme “naming and shaming” those who are convicted of buying illegal drugs.

Steve Reed, the shadow justice secretary, hit out at the “trail of destruction the drugs trade causes on our streets”, and said former Labour PM Tony Blair was right in his “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” approach.

Ms Rayner said she wanted police officers to take a more active role in investigating burglaries, as well as “antagonising” thugs who make life difficult for their neighbours.

“On law and order, I think if you are being terrorised by the local thug, I want a copper to come and sort them out,” she said.

“You should be hardline on things like that. It’s not just, ‘Oh you’ve been burgled here is a crime number’.”

She added: “I want you to beat down the door of the criminals and sort them out and antagonise them. That’s what I say to my local police … three o’clock in the morning and antagonise them.”

Ms Rayner said she was “plagued by anti-social behaviour” when she was growing up. “It’s the usual suspects … I want the police to annoy the hell out of them until they realise disrupting lives is not OK. I am quite hardline on that.”

A leading charity specialising in drug law questioned Labour’s claims.

A spokesperson for Release told The Independent: “When it comes to drug policy both the main parties are operating in an evidence free zone, the idea that naming and shaming people will act as a deterrent effect is nonsense.”

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