Theresa May and the Home Office are still lying about police funding, according to Sir David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

And he should know.

Mrs May’s claim, made repeatedly over the last month, that local police force budgets were being boosted by £450m was also repeated by Home Office tweets and in a letter sent out by Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons.

In a letter to Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Policing and Crime, he said Mrs May, the Home Office and Ms Leadsom had misled the public and MPs:

He wrote: “The Prime Minister’s statement and the Home Office’s tweet could have led the public to conclude incorrectly that central government is providing an additional £450 million for police spending in 2018/19. The Home Office tweet also implied that the £450 million sum is guaranteed.

“As the Minister for Policing’s statement outlined, up to £270 million of the funding settlement will come from local council tax, if Police and Crime Commissioners and Mayors choose to raise these sums.

“In addition, the Leader of the House of Commons stated that the £270 million that can be raised locally was on top of the overall settlement of up to £450 million.

“Complex funding arrangements are difficult to explain particularly in the time-compressed context of Prime Minister’s Questions. Written communications, including tweets, do not face this constraint.

“We recommend that the Home Office’s Head of Profession for Statistics [David Blunt] speak to communications colleagues about the immportance of clear public statements about police funding and ensure they understand the structure of police funding.”

It will take more than words from the boss of a quango to stop Theresa May from talking rubbish.

But it will be humiliating for Mrs May to have been named a liar in the run-up to the local government elections.


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