Michael Fabricant says "Tony Blair and Jack Straw have played the ‘race card’, not William Hague", responding to comments made about William Hague’s recent statements on the fight against crime following the tragic murder of Damilola Taylor, in Peckham.
"If you read William Hague’s article, rather than just the headlines surrounding it, he was saying that the level of policing on the North Peckham estate when Jack Straw’s visited was much higher than the low level that the estate has had to endure for far too long. We must be allowed to say that; it is the people in the community themselves who have been telling us about low policing levels.
"There is no question of our just laying off a highly serious issue like the level of police numbers. At this very moment there are new victims suffering crime in the west midlands and in the rest of the country. Black and white alike. We have got to tackle this problem. There cannot be any no-go areas of public debate around this. The Government should not use political correctness or accusations of playing the race card to prevent the truth from coming out.
"The West Midlands and Staffordshire police forces have seen a huge drop in police numbers. Since the last General Election, there are over 3,000 fewer police officers across the country. And now the Chairman of the Police Federation is calling for a Royal Commission into the future of policing for the very first time. He has said in an article entitled ‘Policing in Crisis’ in the House of Commons Magazine: ‘Police morale is the worst I have ever seen it.’
"It is despicable and cheap for Downing Street to accuse Conservatives of being racists in order to hide the national crisis of falling police numbers and rising crime under this Labour Government. You only have to walk around in Lichfield, let alone Birmingham, to see there are fewer police in our cities and in the countryside" adds Michael Fabricant, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
"The slide has got to stop and no amount of threats, distortions, and spin doctoring from Downing Street can prevent the truth from coming out in a democracy".