Panicking Labour sow police numbers confusion

Johann Lamont’s Cuts Commission announcement has descended into chaos, after her spin doctors were forced to deny that police numbers were under threat – just minutes after she had suggested in her speech that they were.

In her speech, Lamont stated that “we need to be honest that the target of 1,000 additional “bobbies on the beat” is not the best use of police resources.”

However, after the Scottish Police Federation expressed its concern at this attack on police numbers, the SPF tweeted: “Scottish Labour contacted @scotspolfed to confirm continued support for 1000 extra officers. Very welcome message indeed!”

Commenting, SNP MSP John Finnie – a former serving police officer who sits on the Justice Committee - said:

“As if Johann Lamont’s speech wasn’t damaging enough to her party, she has been utterly humiliated by her spin doctors forcing her into a complete U-turn within an hour of her speech.

“Why mention cuts to police numbers in her speech if they aren’t part of the review?

“Her big announcement of a cuts commission which won’t report until after the referendum was ludicrous enough, but having her spin doctors deny something she has only just said in her speech is farcical.

“Those police officers – and the people of Scotland – deserve to know exactly what Labour have planned for policing in Scotland, and Johann Lamont urgently needs to end the uncertainty.

“If today’s events has made anything clear, it is that the SNP is the only party standing up for Scotland’s communities and the police officers who do so much to protect them.”