New PM Theresa May accused of ‘hot air rhetoric’ by Tower Hamlets Mayor

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs criticises new PM Theresa May (inset) who he says forced cuts to poli

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs criticises new PM Theresa May (inset) who he says forced cuts to police in the East End as Home Secretary - Credit: Archant

The new Prime Minister Theresa May’s inaugural speech in Downing Street has come under fire today as “hot air” from the mayor of London’s most socially-deprived area.

Tower Hamlets Council

Tower Hamlets Council - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said he was surprised that her first speech as PM was focusing on inequality and fairness.

“She has been at the heart of a government which cut countless millions from vital public services, while offering tax cuts to the highest earners,” he said in a statement this-afternoon to the East London Advertiser.

“Tower Hamlets—despite being one of the most deprived boroughs in the country—has seen its budget for frontline services savagely scaled back.

“This includes harsh cuts to the police which Theresa May forced through as Home Secretary.”

The cuts have seen closures or restricted hours in neighbourhood police offices such as Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market, Spitalfields’ Brick Lane and on the Isle of Dogs.

Even major police stations like Limehouse are no-longer open all hours to the public. The only 24-hour service in the whole police division is at Bethnal Green.

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Mayor Biggs accuses the new Prime Minister of “rhetoric and hot air” in his first public outcry following Mrs May’s appointment yesterday.

“I wish her well in the new job,” he adds. “But unless the new Prime Minister is planning one of the biggest U-turns in history, her rhetoric about fighting inequality appears little more than hot air.”

Mrs May promised her new government would be driven “not by the interests of the privileged few” when she spoke outside 10 Downing Street after returning from Buckingham Palace, following David Cameron’s departure from office.

She said in her speech: “When we pass new laws, we will listen not to the mighty—but to you.

“When it comes to taxes, we will prioritise not the wealthy—but you. We will do everything to help anybody, whatever your background.”

The UK faced “great national change” following the EU ‘exit’ referendum, she pointed out, but promised a role in the world to make Britain work “not for a privileged few—but for everyone”.