Steve Hilton, Director of Strategy for the Tory Party under former prime minister David Cameron, believes Theresa May “should be resigning not seeking re-election”.
Responding to a request for comment on Mr Hilton’s remarks Monday morning, the Prime Minister remarked simply: “I don’t think I’m the only person in Westminster who has found herself on the receiving end of comments from Steve Hilton.”
Labour leader Jeremy has also called for the Prime Minister to resign, in an unusual intervention just three days before the general election coming Thursday. Told by a Sky News journalist in a television interview that “given her record on policing numbers there have been calls for her resignation” and asked whether he would back them, Mr Corbyn said “indeed I would”, saying some “very responsible people” are “very worried” about her past record on policing.
Rowing back his remarks slightly when asked to confirm he believed the Prime Minister should now resign, Mr Corbyn said: “well look, we’ve got an election on Thursday and that’s perhaps the best opportunity to deal with it”.
The original story continues below:
Theresa May responsible for security failures of London Bridge, Manchester, Westminster Bridge. Should be resigning not seeking re-election pic.twitter.com/2o0odey2BQ
— steve hilton (@SteveHiltonx) June 5, 2017
Mrs May’s statement on the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks mentioned that, “as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up”.
The Times claims Whitehall sources informed them these remarks were an allusion to the Government’s growing frustration with the security services – but Hilton said it was “outrageous for Theresa May to stand outside No.10 and blame others whilst presiding over 3x security failures”.
As Home Secretary under the Cameron administration, Mrs May was responsible for immigration, policing and security, and made very substantial cuts to police numbers in particular.
This was despite repeated warnings from the Police Federation that the changes were causing “community policing to collapse” and reducing forces’ ability to counter terrorism by eliminating their capacity to gather intelligence locally.
“Neighbourhood policing [is] critical to dealing with terrorism [and] we run the risk, here, of letting communities down, putting officers at risk, and, ultimately risking national security,” a veteran Greater Manchester Police constable warned the then Home Secretary in 2012.
Steve, you were part of the Cameron Obsorne Hilton trio in No10 It was you guys who gave each SOS their budget It was done on YOUR watch https://t.co/ptzxdebQDH
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) June 5, 2017
However, Nadine Dorries, the Tory candidate for Mid Bedford and its MP prior to Parliament’s dissolution for the upcoming snap election, shot back at Hilton: “Steve, you were part of the Cameron Obsorne Hilton trio in No10,” she wrote, referring to the period when the 47-year-old was a close confidante of the former Eton school friends who sat at the top of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2010.
“It was you guys who gave each [Secretary of State their budget It was done on YOUR watch,” she alleged. “Never forget each Secretary of State was told what money they had to spend in their department by [Chancellor of the Exchequer Geroge] Osborne It was non negotiable [sic]”.
Hilton protested that he left the government in 2012, following an acrimonious falling out with Osborne, but Dorries insisted he was as responsible for the deterioration of Britain’s security situation as anyone.
“If only you and Cameron and Osborne in your positions of ultimate power back in 2005 had had the guts to listen to the warnings and act then”, she said.