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Police Federation chairman hits back at May over cuts

POLICE FEDERATION chairman John Apter shamed Prime Minister Theresa May today over police funding cuts after she heaped praise on officers for their handling of the suspected terror attack outside Parliament.

The organisation, which represents rank-and-file officers in England and Wales, has long campaigned against cuts to police budgets, which have led to the loss of at least 21,000 officers since 2010.

Mr Apter, who became the federation’s head just two weeks ago, posted on Twitter: “Your thanks to those brave police officers means nothing, Prime Minister.

“You can no longer show contempt for policing and to those who deliver it and expect them to accept your thanks the next day. That’s not how it works! Warm words are not enough.”

In a statement issued after Tuesday’s attack, Ms May praised the “formidable courage” and professionalism of emergency service workers who “ran towards” danger.

Meanwhile, Salih Khater, 29, has been named as the man arrested on suspicion of terrorism and attempted murder for driving a speeding car through a group a cyclists and crashing into a steel and concrete security barrier near the House of Lords on Tuesday morning.

Two cyclists taken to hospital were later discharged.

The silver Ford Fiesta was driven from Birmingham late on Monday and spent almost five hours in the Tottenham Court Road area.

It was then driven around Westminster for more than 90 minutes before it crashed just before 7.40am.

Mr Khater, a British national who fled the Sudanese civil war, is reported to have lived above a parade of shops in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, until four months ago.

He was studying accountancy between September 2017 and May this year, a Coventry University spokesman said, before he was kicked out for failing his first year.

A friend of Mr Khater told the Independent that he had been trying to gain a visa to visit his family in Sudan.

It is reported that his father and brother had died within two months of each other, and it is believed Khater may have been trying to reach the Sudanese embassy in London.

Lamiat Sabin is the Morning Star’s Parliamentary Reporter.

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