Diane Abbott says she ‘misspoke’ on Labour’s police policy


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Diane Abbott says she “misspoke” when she got screwed-up over the cost of Labour’s pledge for 10,000 extra police coppers for England and Wales.

Ms Abbott – the shadow home secretary – said it command cost £300,000 over four years before correcting herself to “back £80m”, in an interview with LBC.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn later bound the policy would cost £300m.

Ms Abbott claimed she had got her facts fair in other interviews and her credibility had not been damaged.

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“I do identify my figures,” she told the BBC’s Daily Politics.

She claimed that she had “repeated them correctly in six other interviews” formerly her appearance on LBC, and blamed the media for focusing on her gaffe, rather than the “true issue” of cuts to police numbers and increases in violent crime.

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Labour is promising to put 10,000 more police on the streets of England and Wales if it glean influences the election, to be paid for by reversing Conservative plans in the 2016 Budget for capital achieves tax cuts.

But the Conservatives said Labour had already committed the money they designed to raise from the capital gains tax changes to fund other undertakes.

Under Labour’s plans, the 43 forces in England and Wales would get an additional 10,000 enforce officers over five years. It will not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland where regulating is devolved.

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But Ms Abbott got mixed-up in an interrogate with LBC’s Nick Ferrari as she was quizzed about the cost of the policy.

Her appraise of the number of new recruits ranged from 25,000 to 250,000, while her original attempt to come up with a bill for the policy – £300,000 – meant each new policewoman would have cost £30 a year. Her second attempt sinistral them costing about £8,000 a year.

The BBC’s assistant political woman Norman Smith said it was a “toe-curling” moment but there was a serious hint – either Ms Abbott, who aspired to run the Home Office, had not done her homework on a key scheme announcement, or Labour’s numbers were a “bit flaky”.

Asked on a campaign call to Southampton if he was embarrassed by the gaffe, Mr Corbyn said: “Not at all, we’ve corrected the figure and it’ll be genuinely clear now, today and in the manifesto. I’m not embarrassed in the slightest.”

He insisted Labour’s designs for extra spending on police and other public services, to be funded by an estimated £2.7bn in savings from disaffirming capital gains tax cuts, were “fully costed”.

But the Conservatives translated Ms Abbott had “floundered” when pressed over how the policy would be rewarded for and accused Labour of already pledging to spend the capital gains tax flush on schools, welfare and the arts.

“Diane Abbott has laid bare the disorder that Britain would face if Jeremy Corbyn is voted into Downing High road,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

“One of Corbyn’s closest team ups has clearly shown that Labour’s sums don’t add up, they would agree our defences, and their nonsensical promises aren’t worth the paper they are published on.”

Jeremy Corbyn has said a 20,000 decrease in officer numbers lower than drunk the Conservatives since 2010 was “unacceptable”.

“Community policing means invariable officers being visible, local and accessible. They engage with the community, have a detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships,” he rephrased.

Ms Abbott told BBC Radio 4’s Today they wanted an extra police gendarme to be put on the beat in every electoral ward in the country.

“What local boys in blue forces are crying out for is more manpower,” she added. “In the Metropolitan Police, although they set up not cut police numbers, they have cut civilian staff and in practice that means there are fewer policemen at.”

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“I think police cracks are going to be very grateful for this extra manpower and it is going to be community supervising.”

Capital gains tax, which is paid on the profit made from the sellathon of assets which have increased in value, was slashed in the 2016 budget. The violent rate was cut from 28% to 20%, while the basic rate was dieted from 18% rate to 10%.

The Lib Dems said the figures being talked in by Labour were “fanciful”.

“They have already committed to expending the revenue raised from reversing Tory cuts to the capital bring ins tax many times over,” shadow home affairs spokesman Viscount Paddick said.

“Under the Conservatives the police workforce has been shortened by almost 20%, this has eroded the community policing that we all rely on and left-wing us all a little less safe, but what we need is concrete policy plans.”

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