Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, visited Croydon this morning and accused the Conservatives of leaving residents at risk by taking 91 police officers off the beat in the borough – all despite the 2011 riots.
Miliband is just the latest senior Labour figure to visit Croydon North ahead of next Thursday’s by-election. Labour is leaving nothing to chance.
David Miliband, Harriet Harman, Chuka Umunna, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Ken Livingstone – they have all come to Croydon to back candidate Steve Reed.
That the Conservatives have not bothered so much is shown by their shorter list of visitors from Westminster: Michael Gove (whose PPS is managing Andy Stranack’s campaign, so the former Murdoch hack owed his mate a favour), Boris Johnson and a quiet man.
Today, Ed Miliband and Reed took an early morning tea with Judith Burden, the secretary of the Elm Park Estates Residents Association and other residents in the front room of a South Norwood terraced house. The Labour politicians listened intently for 35 minutes.
They heard concerns about street cleansing and the closure of the local police station in Olive Grove.
“Croydon has been let down after the riots,” Miliband said.
“The people of Croydon North are being let down by the Conservatives in Whitehall, City Hall and Croydon Town Hall.
“After the worst riots for a hundred years, they should be protecting the police. Instead the Tory London Mayor has taken 91 police officers off the streets and is planning to close South Norwood police station without any consultation.
“Residents are very worried about the closure of the local police station,” Miliband said.
“Croydon’s residents need Steve Reed to speak up for them as a successful council leader of seven years standing who will be a strong addition to the parliamentary team.”
Miliband then went on to address a gathering outside the seemingly doomed police station.
“David Cameron came to Croydon after the riots and promised that local businesses would get the help they need to get back on their feet. There is real anger that David Cameron has failed to deliver.
“The Conservatives’ economic policies are failing and it’s hurting local people as they see high unemployment, especially amongst young people, higher fares, rents and other bills while millionaires get tax cuts.”
On Friday, the rising star of the Labour front bench team, Streatham’s Chuka Umunna, will be making a return visit into his neighbouring constituency to add further weight to Reed’s campaign.
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