Monday 24 February 2020 8:00 pm

Sadiq Khan budget: Uncertainty over Met's special operations funding

Sadiq Khan will spend an extra £227.6m on the Metropolitan Police in 2020-21, however its specialist operations branch may face future funding uncertainty.

Khan’s £18.5bn 2020-21 budget was approved by the London Assembly today.

He plans to increase day-to-day spending for the The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) to £3.89bn, which includes funding for an extra 1900 police officers in total.

An extra £30.5m is also earmarked to go to his violence reduction unit.

However, the budget for specialist operations – dealing with national security and counter-terrorism – is listed as receiving £414.9m in 2020-21 – £16.9m less than in 2019-20.

It comes just weeks after Sudesh Amman, 20, stabbed two people in a terror attack in Streatham.

A City Hall spokesman said there was still £237m allotted in a “centrally located” fund, some of which may be dished out to special operations. He believed its budget could ultimately increase.

“The new funding is allocated to the centrally held budget line before final allocations are confirmed to business groups such as special operations,” they said.

Dr Paul Stott, research fellow on terrorism with the Henry Jackson Society think tank, said any cut to counter-terrorism funding would be detrimental.

“Police forces will always welcome more resources, but few work in such a high pressured, or pivotal role to our safety, as London’s counter-terrorism officers,” he said.

London Assembly’s Tory block of members also unsuccessfully tried to add an amendment to the budget yesterday, which would have added a further £104m to the Met’s coffers by cutting the culture budget, TfL employee benefits and sacking City Hall staff.

The plan would also have axed promotional agency London and Partners – set up by Boris Johnson in 2011 – and transport watchdog London TravelWatch, which have a combined proposed budget of £14.1m in 2019-20.

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