Diane Abbott forgets how much Labour's police policy costs in awkward interview

The shadow Home Secretary appeared to suggest police officers would be paid £30 each

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 02 May 2017 10:37
Diane Abbott gives excruciating interview over cost of Labour police pledge

The Shadow Home Secretary has given a stumbling explanation of her party's plan for an additional 10,000 police officers.

Diane Abbott gave several estimates of how much the new officers would cost ranging from £300,000 to £80 million.

She also made several estimates for the number of officers Labour would recruit in each year, ranging from 25,000 to 250,000.

Stumbling through an awkward exchange on LBC radio she said: "Well, if we recruit the 10,000 police men and women over a four-year period, we believe it will be about £300,000."

Presenter Nick Ferrari replied: "£300,000 for 10,000 police officers? How much are you paying them?"

Ms Abbott replied: "No, I mean, sorry, they will cost, it will cost about, about £80 million."

"About £80 million? How do you get to that figure?" he said.

Ms Abbott answered: "We get to that figure because we anticipate recruiting 25,000 extra police officers a year at least over a period of four years.

"And we are looking at both what average police wages are generally but also specifically police wages in London."

The party says it would pay for 10,000 officers by reversing the Conservatives' cut to capital gains tax. This morning the Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to rule out further cuts to police numbers.

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