John Yates, Britain’s highest anti-terror official, stated in a private meeting that the 25 per cent proposed Budget cuts would put the nation’s defences at a disadvantage against terrorist attacks. The comments were reported to have been made at an annual conference in Manchester for the Association of Chief of Police Officers.
The statement was made when Yates was discussing the proposed loss of £87 million from the Metropolitan Police and £62 million from other units.
Cabinet Officer Minister Francis Maude was angry with Yate’s statements. He told BBC news in an interview: “I’d like to avoid public servants doing this kind of shroud-warning in public. There is a special responsibility on all public servants to be really careful what we say and what we do. It’s going to be pretty important for people who are managing bit public services like police forces to focus on cutting out unnecessary costs, during down costs, being as efficient as they possibly can before they even begin to contemplate talking about alarming the public in this kind of way.”
Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson, said this was a sign that “this government doesn’t consider policing and counter-terrorism as a priority”. He also stated: “You will diminish the number of police officers, you will seriously affect our ability to counter terrorism.”
Chancellor George Osborne has stated that all government departments, except health and international development, will face cuts of 25 per cent. Precise details will not be available until the October government spending review.