In My View: Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

People’s priorities in Southwark have not changed. Housing; tackling antisocial behaviour; and managing financial pressure.

Most people are feeling the pinch due to rapidly rising prices, fuelled in part by this Government’s disastrous policies, as well as inflation rocketing with worse to come in our energy bills.

But many working people have also seen a cut in Universal Credit as well as facing a Tory tax hike in April.

However, the Government’s priority is selfish. Ministers are obsessed with nothing more than saving Johnson’s skin after the police belatedly began action to investigate no fewer than 12 Downing Street parties held while the rest of us followed the lockdown restriction rules.

The Tory Party used to claim to be the party of law and order but they now just party under a lying lawbreaker as leader and have overseen the worst slump in prosecutions, even for the most violent crimes.

Given their own lawbreaking, it is no wonder that under the Tories too many criminals are simply let off the hook.

After a decade of Tory-led Governments, only one in every 16 crimes reported now results in someone being charged.

I am frequently contacted by people telling me about rising antisocial behaviour ruining their neighbourhood.

I have been working on this issue with community activists, the police and council and will continue to seek results despite the appalling example set by a Prime Minister who takes zero responsibility.

Under the Tories since 2010, the Met lost 3,000 police officers, more than 3,000 PCSOs and 5,000 police staff.

Sadly, the force has seen a number of recent failings which has led to a public loss of confidence.

Commissioner Cressida Dick has now resigned and I hope her replacement is up to the challenge Londoners face.

We need a new front to tackle crime and disorder in our capital and I am glad the Labour front bench has put tackling antisocial behaviour at the heart of our agenda.

It isn’t just law and order where the Tories are failing London. The Government rushed out a ‘levelling up’ agenda to try and prop up Johnson but it failed to include any new funding and ignored our capital city!

There is not even a long-term plan for resourcing Transport for London (TfL) which means cuts to Tube and bus services and the possible closure of the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

The Tory plan seems to be to hit London and Londoners despite our higher costs of living, longer work hours, higher housing costs, and some of the highest levels of persistent poverty anywhere in the UK.

Ministers are failing our city but letting down London has national consequences.

Investing in London benefits the whole UK and without a strong economic recovery here, the Tories will also fail the rest of the country.




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