Thursday 12 May 2016 12:54 pm

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomes more armed police in London

Newly-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the news that 400 more armed police will be ready for deployment in the capital as soon as April next year.

At a Metropolitan Police armed response training exercise in central London, Khan thanked the 600 police officers who have volunteered to undertake firearms training, as part of plans to boost the number of armed officers available to protect the capital from gun crime and capital.

The announcement comes ahead of a full terror preparedness review, which Khan pledged in his manifesto.

Read more: Sadiq Khan makes one small step in the right direction

"Nothing is more important to me than keeping Londoners safe. As a dad, I worry about my daughters' safety as they go about our city – as I worry about all Londoners," Khan said.

"It was reassuring to see our brave, dedicated and incredibly skilled armed response officers in action.

"I want to thank every Met officer who has volunteered to put themselves on the frontline of protecting Londoners."

Read more: Khan must ignore the Nimbys and look to the Greenbelt

The news comes after terror attacks last year in Paris and this year in Brussles. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November last year the commissioner of the Met Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe asked for plans to be developed to increase the number of firearms officers.

Yesterday the UK raised its terror threat from Northern Ireland to "substantial" from "moderate". "This means that a terrorist attack is a strong possibility and reflects the continuing threat from dissident republican activity," Theresa May, home secretary, said in a written statement to parliament.

The threat level to the UK from international terrorism remains unchanged at "severe" which means an attack is highly likely. This is one notch below the top level critical, which suggests an attack is imminent.