London on alert as UK parties resume campaigning for June 8 poll

In excerpts released before his speech, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn linked terror threats to Britain joining wars abroad.

world Updated: May 26, 2017 21:37 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Scotland Yard,June 8 election,Manchester terror attack
Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn giving a speech as his party restarted its election campaign.(Reuters)

Scotland Yard said on Friday it had planned for heightened security for the upcoming bank holiday weekend with several major public and sports events, as campaigning for the June 8 election resumed after the Manchester Arena attack earlier this week.

The Labour Party was the first of the major parties to hit the campaign trail after a temporary pause in light of Monday’s terror attack. The Greater Manchester Police said eight people remained in custody for offences related to terrorism, while investigations and raids continued.

Scotland Yard chief superintendent Jon Williams said: “London is a busy and vibrant place to be on any given weekend, and this weekend will be no different, as the city plays host to a range of top class sporting fixtures and other events.

“Since the change in threat level, we have increased our policing levels and deployed a range of different operations and tactics to best protect the capital. Policing operations for each event have been thoroughly reviewed with the organisers and we’ve put in place extra measures and officers. We are doing everything we can to keep London safe.”

The stepped security includes extra armed officers freed up by military support providing static guarding at key locations, and additional armed officers at some events planned in London across the weekend.

“We are working closely with both the Football Association and Wembley to ensure this weekend’s iconic football matches pass off without incident. Together, we have a long history of delivering safe and secure major sporting events… At Twickenham rugby fans will see more armed officers on foot around the stadium, Williams added.

In excerpts released before his speech, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn linked terror threats to Britain joining wars abroad and said a Labour government’s foreign policy will change to reduce rather increase the threat to the country, currently at “critical”.

Corbyn was due to pledge in a major speech a “change at home and change abroad” if Labour wins power: “(Many) experts... have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home.

“That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and held to account for their actions. But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people that fights rather than fuels terrorism.”

Prime Minister Theresa May was due to chair a session on counter-terrorism with G7 leaders in Sicily, Italy, on Friday.

First Published: May 26, 2017 16:15 IST