Rank-and-file cops have overwhelmingly supported a vote of no confidence within the house secretary, Priti Patel, the primary such transfer in additional than a decade.
In a scathing announcement, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), which represents 130,000 officers, mentioned Patel and the federal government “couldn’t be trusted” and warned “heat phrases weren’t sufficient”.
The transfer comes after Wednesday’s affirmation that officers incomes £24,000 or extra can be hit by a pay freeze in 2021-22.
The PFEW’s nationwide chair, John Apter, mentioned: “Because the organisation that represents greater than 130,000 cops, I can say fairly categorically – we’ve no confidence within the present house secretary. I can’t look my colleagues within the eye and do nothing.”
Patel has tried to place herself as a champion for the police, declaring in her 2019 Conservative social gathering convention speech that the Tories had taken “their rightful place because the social gathering of regulation and order in Britain as soon as once more” and pledging to provide police the powers they should sort out crime.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, positioned policing on the coronary heart of his campaigning earlier than the final common election, pledging to recruit 20,000 cops in addition to increasing cease and search powers and rising sentences for assaulting cops.
Johnson and Patel tried to court docket the Police Federation with supportive appearances on the physique’s annual convention.
However after the federal government’s pay announcement on Wednesday, the Police Federation convened a unprecedented assembly of its nationwide council, comprising the chair and secretary of every of the 43 pressure branches, the place a vote of no confidence in Patel was carried.
It’s understood to be the primary time the PFEW has supported a vote of no confidence in a house secretary since 2007 for Labour’s Jacqui Smith, over her determination to not backdate a 2.5% pay rise.
This week additionally they voted to withdraw their assist for the Police Remuneration Evaluate Physique course of for police officer pay.
Apter added: “We regularly hear the house secretary reward cops, however our members are so offended with this authorities. They’ve been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and can now see different public providers given pay will increase whereas they obtain nothing.
“Originally of this pandemic they endured PPE shortages and weren’t even prioritised for the vaccination. They proceed to be politicised and this pay announcement is the ultimate straw.”
The federation mentioned with inflation more likely to improve to nearly 4% later this yr, the pay freeze was a real-terms pay lower for cops. In a press release, it mentioned Patel and the federal government “can’t be trusted or taken at face worth in the way in which we’d count on”.
“Because the undisputed voice of policing we are saying this to the house secretary: you can’t pat our members on the again for his or her heroic efforts with one hand, whereas successfully taking their pay with the opposite,” the federation mentioned. “Heat phrases are now not sufficient.”
Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow house secretary, mentioned the vote of no confidence was an “extraordinary step”. “This can be a devastating blow for a hapless house secretary,” he mentioned.
The Residence Workplace was contacted for remark.