Conservatives Pledge To Recruit 8,000 New Police Officers

( – The British general election campaign is underway, and the Conservative Party is seeking the law and order vote. Conservative leader and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to put 8,000 more police officers on the nation’s streets if victorious in the July 4 election. Mr. Sunak added that officers would have more powers to seize weapons and that an immigration health surcharge would provide the extra funds.

Policing minister Chris Philp told reporters that the Conservatives had already spurred a “recruitment spree” in 2019 but planned to go much further and make “neighborhood policing” central to maintaining law and order across the UK.

The ruling party said it would increase migration costs, including the health surcharge that immigrants must pay to receive healthcare. Mr. Sunak promised that visa fees would also rise, and students would lose their current discount. This will raise hundreds of millions that will be earmarked for extra police.

The opposition Labour Party accused Sunak of desperation, saying the Conservatives have promised more police throughout the 14 years they’ve been in government but delivered only cuts. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the country’s criminal justice system is in crisis after years of Conservative misrule. “They have cut 10,000 neighborhood police, and 90% of crimes are going unsolved,” she said.

In other pledges, the Conservatives have promised to cut taxes, and in the first television debate between the two leaders, Sunak repeatedly accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of harboring secret plans to send tax rates skyward, signaling that the election will focus primarily on that issue. Throughout the debate, Sunak stated that Britain’s old age pensioners – recipients of state pension – will be taxed on that pension for the first time in the UK’s history.

The Conservatives launched their manifesto on June 11, promising to lower taxation and help first-time home buyers. Commentators say Mr. Sunak is positioning the party as “sound with money” and harkening back to Margaret Thatcher’s key selling points.

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