EghtesadOnline: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tore into each other’s records on terrorism as the wave of attacks that hit Britain in the past three months dominated the final stage of the election.
Corbyn said May should resign over the police cuts carried out while she was home secretary. The Conservative leader tried to shift the focus to her “strong” record on dealing with extremism over what she called Corbyn’s “abdication of leadership” on defense.
According to Bloomberg, the premier’s 20-point lead has shrunk as the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have turned attention from Brexit to security. The pound fell early on Monday, with investors paying closer attention to what’s become an increasingly tight race.
May said Corbyn opposed “every single counter-terror law” she introduced as home secretary and failed to support the police policy of “shoot to kill” that was vital to saving lives on Saturday.
“That’s not leadership,” May said. “It’s a failure to meet even the minimum requirement of the job of prime minister -– to keep our country safe.”
Saturday night’s London Bridge attack, which killed seven people and injured almost 50 more, temporarily halted campaigning. But the political truce broke down within hours as Labour and May’s Conservatives went on the offensive.
Campaigning in the northern town of Middlesbrough, Corbyn explained why May should step down, or at least deserved to lose the election.
“There have been calls made by a lot of very responsible people on this who are very worried that she was at the home office for all this time presided over those cuts in police numbers,” Corbyn said. “We’ve got an election on Thursday and that’s perhaps the best opportunity to deal with this.”
On May’s watch as home secretary, the number of police officers in England and Wales declined by about 15 percent. Home Office figures show London has lost some 1,750 officers since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.