Statement on the Prime Minister’s visit to West Yorkshire on Thursday 5 September (6 Sep 2019)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I had already said in a statement I had issued yesterday that the Government reversal around police recruitment appeared to be a tacit admittance that they had got it wrong over the past 10 years or so, despite the attempts of Boris Johnson on his visit to West Yorkshire to wash over his own Government's legacy on support and funding for policing.

"I said that before he came, so for him to then use trainee police officers as the backdrop to what became a political speech was totally inappropriate, those officers and West Yorkshire Police should not have been put in that position.

"A visit from the Home Secretary which originally started out as a discussion about the plans for police recruitment, clearly turned into a rant about Brexit, about the opposition and appeared to be blatant electioneering, which was completely unacceptable as a last minute hijacking of the visit by Boris Johnson.

"The news of the recruitment drive and the acknowledgment of how officers and staff have suffered with austerity was completely lost because he was only interested in getting his own agenda across.

"There is no way police officers and staff, who clearly thought it would be all about police recruitment announcements, should have formed a backdrop to a speech of that nature.

"I have asked the Chief Constable John Robins for a full explanation around what happened and he is already aware of my dismay and wider concerns this has created and that the public and the media saw through the attempts by Boris Johnson to cloak his political speech under the guise of police recruitment announcements."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019