A legal challenge against Sadiq Khan’s decision to axe dozens of police stations is being backed by the Liberal Democrats.
The closures were confirmed in November following a public consultation that was subsequently slammed as “possibly the worst consultation of 2017” by an independent institute which monitors and advises on public engagement strategies.
Caroline Pidgeon, the Lib Dem London Assembly Member, also savaged the process which she labelled “shambolic” and a “sham” after the publication of meeting dates was delayed.
Now the party has endorsed a legal challenge being brought by party member and activist Paul Kohler who was the subject of an attack in his home in 2014.
Kohler believes he only survived because officers were able to get to his house from the local station in Wimbledon.
He said: “The Mayor’s plan to remove police stations from the heart of many communities is a short-sighted and unimaginative response to the funding crisis caused by the Government’s equally misguided decision to slash the Metropolitan Police budget.”
Mayor Khan has repeatedly blamed the need to axe the stations on Government cuts to the Met’s budget.
However Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, said the Mayor “can’t simply hide behind these Conservative cuts.”
He added: “Mayor Khan’s top priority must be to keep Londoners safe and use every means to do that.
“With robbery, knife and gun crime on the increase this move is inexplicable and irresponsible.
“The Liberal Democrats would increase the police budget to keep a reassuring police presence on our street and Londoners safe.”