The Mayor of London has been criticised over his hypocritical stance regarding police station closures in Lambeth.

Councillor Tim Briggs, the Conservative Group Leader on Lambeth Council, has created a petition on calling on the Labour-run council and Mayor Sadiq Khan to re-think their plans to close numerous police stations in the London borough.

The Mayor of London's Office issued a press release defending his record of keeping London safe and called on the Government to reverse funding decisions which would endanger the nation's capital.

These include a refusal from ministers to fully finance the National and International Capital Cities Grant, the Department for Communities and Local Government's refusal to ring-fence local resilience team budgets, and the Home Office's failure to take forward Lord Harris's recommendations from his review into keeping London safer from terrorist attacks.

The Mayor said he has confirmed that two-thirds of Lord Harris' terror review recommendations have been implemented and accused the Government of "dragging its feet" on this issue.

"Virtue-signalling hypocrisy"

In an exclusive interview with Blasting News, Councillor Briggs accused the Labour-run Lambeth Council and the Mayor of London of "virtue-signalling hypocrisy."

He added: "Labour always thinks they can get away with sneaking in cuts to our public services because they always portray themselves as the 'good guys' in British politics.

Their actions betray them.

"Sadiq Khan has broken many promises since coming to office. In 2013, he asserted that changes to the structure of policing were decided by the Mayor, and criticised changes made by Boris Johnson, which would have resulted in less damaging changes to the policing structure here than the current Mayor's proposals.

"We as a Conservative Party support community policing. Unhelpful Labour councillors are trying to blame central government for this mess. The Mayor has a £17 billion-a-year budget. How can he say his funding decisions are affected by what Westminster does?"

Lambeth Council issued a response to the Tory Leader's petition on Love.

Lambeth, urging the Mayor of London to revisit its policy of reorganising Lambeth's police services, which would result in numerous stations like Kennington, Streatham, Loughborough Junction and Cobalt Square being closed.

Lambeth Council's Leader, Councillor Lib Peck, and Councillor Mo Seedat, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, have written to London's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, asking that plans to close all but one of the borough's police stations are rethought.

"Putting public safety at risk"

The letter outlines that the Labour Group supports Lord Harris' proposals, but it stressed that government cuts since 2010, which according to them have resulted in £400 million being taken out of the Metropolitan Police's budget since that year, are putting public safety at risk.

Councillor Briggs said the Labour Group are only covering their own backs and they are failing to lobby Sadiq Khan.

He added: "They are using loads of locally-funded propaganda to cover their own position. Labour has all the resources to do this instead of funding decent public services.

"The Labour Group's letter to Ms Linden can be interpreted as a bit of a u-turn. We all know that it is the Mayor of London who makes a final decision on this matter, not the Deputy Mayor.

"If these measures are passed, we must be allowed to make submissions. We support community policing."

Lambeth Conservatives would not support the Mayor's new model

Asked whether he believes Mayor Khan's proposals would make the City less safe, Councillor Briggs says it depends on the final outcome of the policy.

He stressed the community policing model has been very successful and Lambeth Conservatives would not support the Mayor's new structure.

You can find a link to Councillor Tim Briggs' petition on the website.