TV & Movies

Sadiq Khan says he ‘accepts full responsibility’ for London knife crime crisis

Sadiq Khan has said that he "accepts full responsibility" for the knife crime crisis in London, but also blasted police cuts which has left the force struggling.

There have been more than 40 fatal stabbings in the UK this year, including 22 in London.

Fatal stabbings rose to 285 in 2017-18, the most ever recorded in the UK.

Appearing on This Morning today, the Mayor of London was grilled by hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby over Boris Johnson's comments and Donald Trump's upcoming state visit.

Questioned about the escalating knife crime figures by Holly, Sadiq said that "every death from a violent crime is an utter tragedy" but conceded that there were "deep seated problems" throughout the UK due to a number of factors including a lack of opportunities and a record number of police cuts.


Sadiq insisted his office were trying to "grapple with the root causes".

"But it's not working is it?" Phil pointed out. "What you say is very worthy, but it's not working."

The mayor insisted that they had set up a violent crime force, but said: "I've got to be frank, Phillip, we've got fewer police officers than we've ever had."

"Some people say that it is your fault?" Phil probed, pointing out that some, namely Boris Johnson, said that he wouldn't accept responsibility and "blames everyone but himself".

"Listen, I accept full responsibility," Sadiq said in response. "I'm the Mayor of London and I lead from the front for the last three years. I accept full responsibility in relation to keeping our city safe. I'm the father of two teenage daughters – it's personal.


"I'm raising my family here. I've got nieces and nephews who are teenagers who live in areas like I do where there is high knife crime and progress.

"But I've got to be frank with Londoners and explain that over the last eight or nine years we've lost a huge amount of funding from our police service."

He pointed out that 80 per cent of funding came from central government.

Phil later said that Boris Johnson had said that he had left Sadiq with a "whole lot of cash".

"That's not true," Sadiq said. "Don't believe anything Boris Johnson says."

The presenter then grilled Sadiq on why he was wasting money banning ads on Wimbledon tube trains "banning strawberries and cream".

But Sadiq responded that that "was not true" and that they hadn't taken the ads down.

Asked whether he resented Extinction Rebellion protesters, he said: "I resent police officers who are having to work 12-hour shifts, having to cancel rest days, cancelling leave days."

Yet he said that he was "very passionate about her planet".

Finally, he was questioned by Phil on whether he would be shaking Donald Trump's hand when he comes to visit the UK.

"Let me be clear, it takes two to Tango," he replied. "It's him that's obsessed with me, not me obsessed with him. I'm quite clear – the US are our closest allies, they're like our best mates.

"The thing about our best mate is that your expectations are higher that they are from an acquaintance or somebody who is just a friend. And we expect more from our best friends.

"So if, for example, Donald Trump is saying things that we disagree with, let's say boo to a goose and say, 'Listen mate, I love your country, I love the relationship we've got but you're wrong here'."

Asked whether he would be welcoming him to the city, Sadiq said: "I don't think we should be rolling out the red carpet, I don't think we should be giving him a state banquet but I do think we should be commemorating 75 days to the D-Day landings, I do think we should have good links to the USA, with other close allies, but I don't think we should be rolling out the red carpet."

*This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV

Source: Read Full Article