David Cameron has recalled Parliament after returning from his holiday this morning to take charge of government’s response to the escalating violence in London.
The prime minister, who chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency response team, has boosted police numbers on the capital’s streets by 10,000 today in an effort to stave off further rioting this evening.
Parliament is to be recalled from its summer recess for one day on Thursday for the 11th time in the past 20 years to hear a statement from Cameron and hold a debate on the riots.
The last time it was recalled was 2002 when it debated the escalating situation in Iraq.
Rioters hit swathes of London’s residential areas last night, burning cars and buildings and looting shops and houses into the early hours of the evening.
About 6,000 police were on the streets to deal with flare-ups in violence from Hackney to Clapham but were vastly outnumbered for much of the night.
The Metropolitan Police has cancelled leave for all officers and called in relief forces from neighbouring counties.
The violence started on Saturday night after a peaceful protest against the police shooting of a local man in Tottenham turned into riots.