Marlborough’s MP Claire Perry is now back from American holiday
Marlborough’s Tory MP Claire Perry, who was advised by government whips not to return from holiday for last week’s recall of Parliament, has now done so.
She was on holiday with her husband and children at Lake Tahoe, on the California/Nevada border, when rioting broke out in Tottenham, then spread across London and to other major cities.
In a message to Marlborough News Online, she says: “I have been knocked for six by the death of my closest friend's son in Norway and trying to help them.”
Mrs Perry did in fact contact Brian Moore, Chief Constable of Wiltshire “as soon as rioting reported to see if there were any potential trouble spots in Wiltshire.”
But apart from incidents in Calne and Swindon, the county as a whole was unaffected and was able to send 25 officers to London to boost the Met police’s presence on the streets of the capital last weekend.
And Mrs Perry adds: “I was advised by whips to remain in States rather than attend debate but followed it closely.”
“I think there is a major shift in opinion happening where people are starting to think of responsibilities that come with state support.”
“I will be writing on this (subject) this week and will let you have it soonest.”
Marlborough News Online has also been in contact with Brian Moore’s office concerning the latest announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May that the government will be calling on police forces to introduce more riot training for officers while still maintaining budget cuts in police funding.
But he declines to make any comment.
The county force, one of the smallest in the country, is facing a 16 per cent cut in funding over four years and expects to lose 125 police and 186 civilian posts. That will give an operational 1056 police officers and 827 civilian staff by March, 2015.
Chief Constable Moore has had talks with Mrs Perry over the government’s proposals for elected local police commissioners, a policy opposed by the police nationally, but has not put his views in the public domain.
The current tension between the police nationally and the government’s reform proposals, aimed at making police forces more accountable, are seen as a matter of politics.
And that is a debate the majority chief constables have refrained from taking part in, Mr Moore included.