Police station saved amid by-election battle in Boris Johnson’s old seat

An under-threat police station in Boris Johnson’s old constituency will remain open, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

Dominic McGrath
Monday 03 July 2023 06:00 BST
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Uxbridge election count in 2019 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Uxbridge election count in 2019 (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

An under-threat police station in Boris Johnson’s old constituency is set to remain open, after London Mayor Sadiq Khan intervened to save it weeks before a crunch by-election.

Local campaigners have long opposed the potential closure of the police station, with the former prime minister using a rare Commons appearance last November to raise the issue on behalf of his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituents.

Mr Khan, in a letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, said that the station should now remain open.

The Labour local politician said that he had listened to the concerns of local residents and that it was in the best interests of the community for the station to remain open.

He said that there was a “strong” case for retaining stations across London, after the highly critical review of the Met by Baroness Louise Casey.

Mr Khan said: “Huge Government cuts over the last decade have forced the Met to make extremely difficult decisions about where they allocate resources.

“I’m proud that thanks to our extra investment from City Hall we’re once again restoring neighbourhood policing to our local communities.

“And I’ve also been listening to local residents and campaigners in places like Uxbridge who have been telling me how having a local police station in their area makes them feel much safer.

“As we continue to rebuild neighbourhood policing and restore confidence after the Casey Review, I’ve written to the Met Commissioner saying that the case for now retaining more police station sites across the capital is strong, and would be an important part of our work ensuring the force delivers everything that Londoners need and expect.”

Both Labour and the Conservatives are campaigning in the constituency ahead of polling day on July 20, after Mr Johnson quit the Commons.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party, well ahead of the Tories in the poll, is believed to be confident Labour can take the seat.

Labour’s candidate Danny Beales said he was “delighted” with the decision.

“Today’s success clearly shows what we can achieve when we work together.

“This is just the start of what I want to deliver as a strong, local voice for the people of Uxbridge & South Ruislip,” he said.

The Conservative candidate for Mr Johnson’s old seat is Steve Tuckwell.

Susan Hall, who is running to become the Tory mayoral candidate in London, accused Mr Khan of u-turning and playing “political games” with the Met.

“The Met Police is not a toy that Sadiq Khan can use for his political games,” she said.

“Residents in Uxbridge are seriously concerned about his appalling decision to close the station, and he has now u-turned only because his disastrous Ulez expansion is threatening Labour’s prospects of winning the by-election.”

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