Home Secretary Priti Patel visited Clitheroe as part of a tour supporting Conservative police and crime commissioners.

Mrss Patel was at Holmes Mill in the town to support Lancashire PCC candidate Andrew Snowden. 

She met with local Conservative councillors and campaigners in what turned out to be a low-key affair with little interaction with members of the public, due mostly to Covid restrictions and social distancing rules.

After speaking to reporters she later had lunch outside Bowland Food Hall.

Mrss Patel said she was looked forward to working with a Conservative crime commissioner in the future to deliver on the government’s promises for more front-line officers.

She said: “I am Conservative Home Secretary that wants more Conservative police and crime commissioners elected to deliver on our national agenda across regions and at local level.

“I am unapologetic about cutting crime. I am unapologetic about defending and backing our police in a way no other political party is doing.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Priti Patel with Lancashire PCC candidate Andrew Snowden (Pictures LT)

Mrs Patel went on to respond to questions about why funding had been cut within local police services.

She said: “This government was elected on a manifesto to bring 20,000 more police officers. We are doing exactly that.

“We had 6,620 new police officers across communities, that have been recruited in the last 18 months.”

She went on to say Government had put ‘record funding’ on place for police when asked whether Lancashire needed more money for local police services.

Mrs Patel also said she felt the surge in Conservative voters in December 2019 would be repeated at future elections.

She said: “That is because we are a government that delivers on a local level and on a national level delivering on people’s priorities.”

Mrs Patel would not be drawn into claims that the number of police officers now was smaller than it was 11 years ago when the Conservative Party took over.

The other candidates for the Lancashire Police Crime and Commissioner elections on 6 May are: James Barker, Reform UK; Neil Darby, Liberal Democrats and Clive Grunshaw, Labour Party.