“Labour has accused Boris Johnson of misleading the public when he promised to recruit 20,000 police officers after it emerged from leaked correspondence that thousands are likely to be recruited away from frontline roles.
The opposition has seized on a letter written by the home secretary, Priti Patel, to the London mayor Sadiq Khan last week, in which she says the new officers will be allocated “between territorial, regional and national policing functions”.
Sources suggest this could mean as many as 7,000 of the 20,000 officers could be allocated to bodies such as the National Crime Agency leaving territorial forces in England and Wales with fewer recruits than expected.
The Met fears that its allocation would be 2,000 officers down – the force had hoped to be recruit 5,000 new officers on the back of Johnson’s promise, one of the first he made after entering No 10 last month.
The meaning of the pledge is certain to raise what is set to be a tense meeting between Patel and Khan, expected to take place on Wednesday, the first formal meeting between the two since the home secretary was appointed.
Louise Haigh, the shadow policing minister, said the letter “clearly shows that Boris Johnson’s grandiose pledge of 20,000 more frontline police officers was absolutely nothing of the sort”. …”