London Mayoral candidates have slammed the Home Secretary's decision not to allow the use of Water Cannon in riot situations by the Metropolitan Police.
Andrew Boff, who is also the Conservative leader of the GLA, has called the decision "highly regrettable". He further said "when the police ask for the tools to do the job its incumbent on us as politicians to provide those tools."
These comments were echoed by Stepehen Greenhalgh, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, who argues that "It was the police who came forward themselves after experiencing sustained eight hours of rioting on Tottenham High road. We then thought after this that water cannon should be an option ... Sixty eight per cent of Londoners support the use of Water Cannon and they will be only rarely be used."
Both Boff and Greenhalgh have criticised Theresa May for the Home Office's ruling. Andrew Boff believes that "Theresa May has been badly informed" whilst Stephen Greenhalgh stated "I understand some of the arguments of the Home Secretary but I do not buy them. For example I do not understand, although I will review what has been said in detail, the health and safety concerns."
However, Syed Kamall, leader of Conservative MEPs and another candidate to become London Mayor, said he was "instinctively sceptical about them [water cannons]" although he would support the police if a clear case for there usage was made. Interestingly Kamall argues that "now we're talking about devolution in this country we need to look at devolving power to Scotland. But what about London? Should decisions like this be devolved or have a national veto?"
Elliott Johnson is the Political Editor of Conservative Way Forward.
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