The Labour leader of Greenwich Council has joined Mayor Sadiq Khan in calling for the Government to “stump up” the cash to properly fund London’s service or risk a surge in violent crime in the capital as lockdown is eased.

In a move immediately rejected by local Tory politicians, council leader Dan Thorpe as well as Assembly Member Len Duvall joined the Mayor this week in warning that the Metropolitan Police is now facing “a new era of austerity” under Boris Johnson’s government.

Labour have claimed a refusal by the Government to reimburse the Met and local government for extra costs and a lack of income incurred during the pandemic could lead to cuts totalling £110 million to the city’s police force.

“Unless the Tory Government takes urgent action and provides us with the funding we need, there will be significant cuts to policing in London and across the UK at the worst possible time – just when there is a real risk of violent crime rising as lockdown is eased,” Mayor Khan said.

News Shopper: Greenwich council leader Dan Thorpe. Greenwich council leader Dan Thorpe.

“I’ve always said I believe in being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. That’s why I’ve led from the front by investing in policing and youth services across our city from City Hall.”

“Now is the time for government investment in our police force, not more cuts. Only Labour is standing up for policing in London.”

His voice was echoed by Greenwich Council leader Dan Thorpe, although two of Thorpe’s local authority colleagues in the Conservative party accused the Labour group of “playing politics” with the coronavirus crisis.

“The Tory Government simply must cough-up the money the Metropolitan Police and London’s local authorities desperately need to properly fund our police,” Cllr Thorpe said.

“If they fail to do so, they run the risk of another rise in violent crime as lockdown is lifted.

“A decade of austerity has already had grave consequences for our police service and our communities, and further cuts would stretch the thin blue line to breaking point, putting the safety of our residents at risk.

“Given the incredible way Londoners have responded to this pandemic, it is completely unacceptable that Boris Johnson’s government are forcing a new era of austerity on Londoners. Our city’s police need urgent investment, not yet more cuts.”

However Councillor Nigel Fletcher, the leader of Greenwich Conservatives, responded that any attempt to play the “blame game” would draw attention to Labour’s “own record of police cuts”.

“It’s disappointing that Labour in London is preoccupied with playing politics with this crisis when Londoners want politicians to pull together to deal with it,” Cllr Fletcher said.

“In Greenwich my colleagues and I have put aside partisan differences and given our public and private support to the Council’s response- including lobbying ministers to ensure local government gets extra resources.

“But if the Labour Council and Mayor now want to engage in a blame game, they will only draw attention to their own record of police cuts, and they should expect to be called out on it.”

News Shopper: Conservative Opposition leader at Greenwich, Nigel Fletcher. Conservative Opposition leader at Greenwich, Nigel Fletcher.

Charlie Davis, a Greenwich councillor running as the Conservative Candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham at next year’s Greater London Authority election, accused Labour of neglecting previous manifesto promises by allowing the closure of Eltham Police Station.

“It’s no surprise that the local Labour Party are now parroting the Mayor’s false claims about needing to cut £110 million from the Met Budget,” Cllr Davis said.

“The Mayor needs to focus on cutting waste at City Hall instead of attempting to use our hard-working police officers as a negotiating tool.”

“Locally, the Mayor of London has closed the front-desk of Eltham Police Station, with the local Labour Party refusing to join us in lobbying him to reverse this decision and his plan to sell the station.”

The jousting comes as local councils, Transport for London and the police force all face major financial upheaval as a result of the pandemic.

The Mayoral and Greater London Authority elections were also meant to be held in May but have now been pushed back a year – meaning the electoral race has transformed from a month-long sprint to a long-busting, year-long marathon.