POLITICIANS were last night travelling back from their summer holidays, after the Prime Minister announced he would recall parliament in response to the London riots.
David Cameron, who himself only returned to Britain in the early hours of yesterday morning, said he was recalling MPs so they could “stand together in condemnation of these crimes”.
He is not expected to table any emergency legislation, although sources said he could take drastic steps such as deploying the armed forces without passing any new laws.
A Downing Street source said party whips had sent out a message to MPs instructing them to return and would take a dim view of those who continued to holiday.
Chancellor George Osborne was also flying back from his vacation in Los Angeles last night, and will make a statement about the turmoil that has engulfed financial markets in the Commons tomorrow.
Boris Johnson, the London mayor who initially refused to cut his holiday short on the grounds he would not “let criminals set the agenda”, was back in the capital yesterday to face the wrath of angry residents.
He was heckled by a crowd in Battersea while on a walkabout to assess the damage, with one resident shouting: “You should have been here three days ago”. Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, was also booed at an event in Birmingham.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister called for “more robust police action” in response to the lawlessness plaguing London.
The Met said 16,000 police officers were “on duty” last night – compared to 6,000 on Monday – after it cancelled all leave, although it is not clear how many of those were actually on the front line.
Scotland Yard authorised its officers to use every available force, including possible use of plastic bullets.